219 - Patrick Morgan

Patrick Morgan is the writer of the ‘Better By Design’ Substack and Principal Product Designer at cybersecurity startup JupiterOne

Patrick Morgan is the writer of the ‘Better By Design’ Substack and Principal Product Designer at cybersecurity startup JupiterOne.

Better By Design is a weekly newsletter where he shares pragmatic strategies and tactics to guide the process of designing digital products.

Twitter → twitter.com/itspatmorgan


And much more! You can view his entire item catalog here.


  • Figma (Literally all the design things)
  • Notion (For my personal website along with the management for my newsletter)
  • Super.so (For publishing my personal website built on Notion)
  • Typical tech work stuff: Atlassian, Google Cloud, Zoom, Slack etc…
  • DAW: Ableton Live
  • Libraries and plugins: Native Instruments, Arturia, Izotope and SoundToys

What is your favorite item in your workspace?

My Fender American Stratocaster is my most sentimental item. It was the first big purchase I saved up for and bought with my own money as a kid and it still rocks to this day. It’s not related to my work and not even that central to the music I make, but as soon as I hang it on the wall it feels like “my place”.

How do you spark creativity?

I find I personally get a lot more energy and inspiration from things that are tangentially related to my work, so I’m always pulling from other disciplines: behavioral economics, philosophy, urban planning, endurance athletics, music production, the list goes on… So I might just need to shift topics for a little bit to unlock a new idea.

Or, another tactic I use is to just set a completely arbitrary constraint to force myself to act. Like I once did an exercise where I decided to write and record 25 songs in 25 weeks before my 25th birthday. It can feel silly, but I’ve learned that if I can just get myself to start and build some momentum, sooner or later something good will happen.

How do you manage work-life balance?

I think the thing I’ve struggled with the most in the pandemic-era is finding the space (both physically and emotionally) to create at home in a non-work-oriented way. I used to keep my design work in the office and then come home feeling excited to sit down at my home desk to make music. But now I wrap up my day job at my home desk and think “well, I kinda wanna do anything besides sit back down right there!” I’ve gotten a little better at it over the last two years, but it’s still something I’m figuring out.

Also, keeping a secondary ‘desk away from desk’ where I can create in a slightly different mindset has been helpful.
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