The Myth of Co-Designing

Co-design is not about democracy among users, stakeholders, and designers. Co-design is, in essence, about creating synergy among them. Creating synergy takes time. Personality, communication style, and motivation can easily drag people out of sync in co-design activities. It’s designers’ responsibility to keep everyone in sync. When there’s not enough time to nurture the level…

A Cultural Model of Taking Risks at Work

A Cultural Model of Taking Risks at Work There are at least three types of risks in work environment: social risks, operational risks, and outcome risks. The first concerns trust, credibility, and social role in groups; the second, the difficulty of approach/process; the third, doing tasks and its impact on outcome. We manage those three…

Doing Things Differently Is Not Enough

Doing things differently is not enough. Evolution happens in a probabilistic manner: it’s not about whether we can do things differently this time, but about whether we can become versatile enough so that we can choose to do things differently most of the time. The former is not sustainable; the latter is. The former is…

The Science of Scheduling Meetings (Or How to Ruin Other People’s Day)

Proposal Be flexible in cancelling meetings. Be inflexible in adding them at the last minute. Why Canceling meetings and adding meetings are not equal. Canceling a meeting is often non-disruptive. When it’s cancelled, we can always choose to do something else, such as continuing to do the work at hand, or even just read or…

Designerly Thought of the Day #20181116

1 Tech is politics. Politics is showbiz. Showbiz is the new tech. New tech is designed. (Following a stream of thoughts on design’s ethics and political power.) 2 Everything in digital life is about tech, except tech. Tech is power. (After a quote from House of Cards)   {END}

Design in Orgs Needs More Science Than Art (The Designerly Leap Trilogy Part I)

Design is, by definition, a service relationship. All design activities are animated through dynamic relationships between those being served… and those in service, including the designers. Design ideally is about service on behalf of the other—not merely about changing someone’s behaviour for their own good or convincing them to buy products and services. —The Design…

The Faithful Designer and The Artist at Heart

…the path of a faithful designer never leads her to anywhere, until she finds her artist at heart. https://youtu.be/h_D3VFfhvs4 After decades I’m still fascinated by Michael Jackson’s Smooth Criminal music video every time I watch it. It was an idea so well executed. The coin-throwing opening, the masterfully choreographed group dance, the transcendental light-out segment,…

Debunking The Myth of Design (Thinking) Process

“The correct regulative principle for anything depends on the nature of that thing.” —John Rawls Design Process is Not a Process The biggest misconception about design process is perhaps that we interpret it too literally. Design process is not a “process” per se. The act of designing doesn’t have a universal “process”. It’s highly coupled…

Marching Beyond Mike Monteiro’s Code of Ethics

Note: The following is a raw dump of thoughts in response to Mike’s talk at CanUX 2018. Please suspend judgement and tolerate messiness in logic. If you attended Mike Monteiro’s CanUX 2018 talk, How to Build an Atomic Bomb, or are familiar with Mike’s thoughts and perspectives, then you’re good to read on. The Road to…

The Challenge of Accountability in Orgs

I’m reading this interesting book, CEO Society: The Corporate Takeover of Everyday Life, that I came by through a friend’s repost. The post has a very interesting point of view, and I love this bit:  “…we just wanted to pretend that someone was in control, even if all the facts and evidence were telling us that…

Why Agile Projects Fail and Other Misconceptions

More Than Cliche Thanks to this post, I recalled several thoughts I once told some people quite a while ago about the nature of the agile practice. At the core of that post is this: “Agile cannot help you if managers continue to run the project and use teams as tools to build it up…