Weekly Learning: Obsession, Touch Screen, and Miscellaneous Goodies

Obsession Eats Design Inside Jeff Bezos’s failed attempt to make Amazon “cool” like Apple and Nike tells a fascinating story about obsession and values. Basically the author talked to some designers who worked with Bezos on some of the most important Amazon products: The Fire Phone illustrated that while Bezos is an open-minded and often…

Weekly Learning: The Inner Peace Edition

Behaviour Genetics The science of terrible men provokes us to think deeper on the sensible issue of “nature vs. nurture”: A meta-analysis of results from 50 years of twin studies […] concluded in 2015 that genes do, in fact, make a difference for these types of social and behavioural outcomes – for people’s cognitive ability,…

Weekly Learning: Aphorism, Strategy, and Strategic Logic

Aphorisms 100 Things I Know About Design is a collection of aphorism-like reflections, which include pure awesomeness like: Design is easy. It’s good design that’s hard. Or: Sometimes design is about creating opportunity. Or: A good design is often a bad design, refined. Mixed-in are such nonsense like: The purpose of any design is to…

Weekly Learning: Workshop, Grit, Prequel, and Recycling

The Planet of Workshops Are workshops ruining the UX design world? points out something important for all the wrong reasons. Firstly: Workshops do not replace proper user research True, but not helpful, because a concerned third party could simply say: “well, workshop is part of our approach to user research.” Secondly: Workshops do not “democratize…

Weekly Learning: Thought Leadership, Teaching Design, and the Strategic Designer

Thought Leadership Internal Design Teams and Thought Leadership explores the challenges in-house design teams face, especially when it comes to thought leadership and “lost potential.” Specifically: …internal design roles are structurally misaligned with public thought leadership. And the career growth options don’t favour the craft side of things: Thought leadership and mastery are correlated. An…

Weekly Learning: Design, Measurement, Hype, and Captaincy

Framing Design in Business A new model of the design process provides an interesting perspective to look at design in business. Firstly, design happens on three levels: strategic, tactical, and operational: Then it gets interesting when those three levels intersect with each other: The six areas derived from the intersections ask different questions regarding design’s…

Power and Corruption

How come so many organizations full of mostly good people with good intentions end up doing not-so-good things? The notion of power is significant to all of us not only because it permeates everything and everywhere in organizations, but also because of another familiar topic: corruption. Contrary to what many believe, in organizations, it’s often…

Weekly Learning: Designer, Knots, and Dream Job

Designers for the 21st Century Design for This Century throws out a bunch of fascinating ideas you want to dig in, among which are surveillance capitalism, ontological design, cyborg manifesto, decentralized storytelling, civic service design, anthropocene backloop, and cosmopolitics. Some are weird, but isn’t that exactly why you are curious to know more? The conclusion…

Weekly Learning: The Gaming Edition

A Game That Plays People A Game Designer’s Analysis Of QAnon is a mind-blowing dissection of the notorious QAnon phenomenon. At the core is the idea of “apophenia”: Apophenia is : “the tendency to perceive a connection or meaningful pattern between unrelated or random things (such as objects or ideas)” And what happens in the…

Power and Rights

In more cases than we’d like to imagine, it’s good people with good intentions end up doing bad things. Most of us intuitively know what power is about, just like we intuitively know what design is about. However, knowing is not the same as understanding. The former is about what, the latter informs how. Our…

Why Your Org Can’t Succeed at Digital Transformation

Digital transformation urges a transfer of power that powerful people never intend to do. If digital transformation is really as awesome and game-changing as some claim or agree with, then we’d expect it to be so much more than adopting digital technologies without deep impact on the purpose, culture, structure, process, and function of an…

Weekly Learning: Design Methods, Research, Blockchain, and Original Sin

Much Ado About Methods Enough Design Methods provides a spearing critic to our obsession with methods. “We seem to be more focused on pseudo-scientific, quick paths to shallow solutions, rather than an immersive depth of creative craft.” Firstly, there is a reason for that obsession: Methods reinforce that we are in control and can tame…

The Road to Transformable Enterprise: Reflective Conversations on Writing and More

NOTE: The following post is a conversation between Andrey Milchman and Noah Fang, long-time collaborators and authors, on their new book, The Transformable Enterprise: Enterprise Architecture in a New Key, which “challenges current enterprise architecture practices, which are mostly inspired by engineers seeking freedom from constraints of science, art, and architecture in both structure and…

Weekly Learning: The Future Issue

Synthetic Realities Deepfake and blockchain are twins. But unlike blockchain, deepfake is not something new. Synthetic realities have been existed for a very, very long time. Andy Polaine’s iconic post, Design in the age of synthetic realities tells fascinating stories of how “AI-generated and mixed realities are blurring the boundaries of “truth” and challenging how…

Weekly Learning: Race, Designer, Accessibility, and AI

Race Race is quite a topic, but you can’t really talk about diversity or inclusion without talking about racism, can you? Maybe the best entry book to know more about racism is White Fragility or How to Be an Antiracist, while the article How to See Race provides some critical insights in the way we…

Leadership or Org Culture?

Good employees politely walking away says more about leadership than about org culture. Bad employees happily walking away says more about leadership than about org culture. Org culture is overrated. Leadership is merely oversold. {END}

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…

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…

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…