Priorities in a Flummoxing World

“You have meddled with the primal forces of nature, Mr. Beale, and I won’t have it, is that clear?! You think you have merely stopped a business deal-that is not the case! The Arabs have taken billions of dollars out of this country, and now they must put it back. It is ebb and flow,…

Designerly Quote of the Day #20180828

When you get far enough along the spectrum that you really know the difference between bad and good, and how much there is to know, and that you will always be surprised, and are convinced you’re nothing more than mediocre— that’s when you’re at your best. That’s when you get the best results. You’ve put…

Designerly Quote of the Day #20180827

Companies don’t need full-time specialists most of the time… Instead, companies need overlap. They need a group of people who have a range of skills. People who can do user research and strategy definition, swing into interaction design and content strategy, maybe kick up a prototype or two along the way (in one form or…

Designerly Quote of the Day #20180823

“A fundamental assertion established for wicked problems is that any attempt to think them through completely before acting is doomed to fail. They cannot be solved, since their fundamental tradeoffs prevent any solution from addressing them as a whole. They have to be approached differently, by envisioning a positive outcome for a change, ensuring its…

Designerly Quote of the Day #20180822

These violent designs have violent ends, And in their triumph die, like fire and powder, Which as they please consume. The trickiest design Is loathsome in its own moral weakness, And in the greed confounds the ethics: Therefore design responsibly, good design doth so: Too swift arrives as tardy as too slow. — Fanz Hugo

Culture Quote of the Day #20180820

Most companies have lots of people with different skills. The problem is, when you bring people together to work on the same problem, if all they have are those individual skills—if they are I-shaped—it’s very hard for them to collaborate. What tends to happen is that each individual discipline represents its own point of view….

Designerly Thought of the Day #20180817

Persistently thrive to become so good that people can’t ignore you. Share selflessly. Help responsibly. Learn endlessly. Think constantly. Do creatively.

Designerly Thought of the Day #20180816

There’s no need to be disappointed by our failure or the frustrating inertia that dampens progress. While we should be ashamed of our reluctance to learn or indifference to learning.

Design Reasoning and The Innovation of Meaning

What’s peculiar about the relationship between design and innovation? Why are they so related in the rhetorics of the past decades? How does design lead to innovation (if at all)? When and where do design and innovation overlap? The clues might just be here, right in the understanding of design and the perspective on innovation….

Designerly Thought of the Day #20180809

Although a bit hyped, design systems signals the dawn of automation in design. As principles, best practices, patterns, and libraries stabilize and evolve (far more often than revolutionizing), tactical and functional design tasks will by operated by AI machines (only curated by humans) and become highly automated. Design as a human profession naturally shifts to…

Designerly Quote of the Day #20180808

“Real designers surround themselves with evidence. You really gotta have the evidence and you really gotta have crit[icism] in order to make the world better.” — Natasha Jen, Design Thinking is Bullsh*t

What’s Driving Design in Your Org?

Design is driven by data, insight, and creativity. Each of the three could drive the design practice alone, while it’s often a dynamic synthesis of the three that leads to real change based on business success. The relative strength of each in that synthesis reflects the design culture, and to a broader sense, work culture,…

Thoughts on Business Intelligence

Notes: I came by this bunch of slides I did for an internal presentation on business intelligence. Although dated and ugly, the points still hold: Always look beyond the buzzword and try to understand the roots of problems; the most difficult challenge in business intelligence is, time and again, not about technology, tools, cost, management,…

Does Analytics Generate Insights?

The tricky thing about analytics is that, it doesn’t really generate insights, and insights are largely irrelevant to the goal of analytics. Insight is a human diet, cooked with human judgement. The goal of analytics is to support decision making. If the analytics doesn’t support decision making, then it doesn’t have to be. When the…

Design in Business and Business in Design

What’s the relationship between business and design? How shall we think of the two in one big picture? Do designers need to understand business more? Should businesspeople understand design more? Those are tricky questions. And then Alan Cooper started a thread (in his characteristic fashion not so different from that of “And that’s when the…

The Best Quote on Bullshit

Bullshit is not the same thing as a lie. To lie, you need to have some respect for the truth. When you lie, you are trying to cover something up. Liars know they might be found out. They know that there is a truth, and that they are on the wrong side of it. Bullshit…