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…

How Designers and Businesspeople Think of Design: A Joke

How Naive Designers Think of Design Design, light of my life, fire of my loins. My sin, my soul. De-sign: the tip of the tongue taking a shot down the palate to tap on the teeth and then refrain to liberate the vowel chamber that follows. De. Sign. As in: awe-some. How Naive Businesspeople Think…

Designerly Quote of the Day #20180513

“…I don’t think design involves that much creativity. It involves creativity in the way doing a crossword puzzle involves creativity. You need some imagination and knowledge. I think of artists as creative because they have to invent something out of nothing. I think designers design because they can’t invent something out of nothing. Or at…

The OK DESIGN Manifesto

Note: Inspired by the OK manifesto in the context of a fascinating story (Everything Is Going to Be OK: What a 1994 Branding Fiasco Can Teach Us About Counterculture and Commerce), the OK DESIGN Manifesto tried. So here it is. The OK DESIGN Manifesto* 1. What’s the point of design? Well, what’s the point of…

Designerly Thought of the Day #20180321

Maybe you don’t need more designers, but more managers and employees who understand design, so that they know when to bring in more designers, how to collaborate with them, what makes good design, and who are good designers.

Designerly Thought of the Day #20180302

All designers bring about their personal design cultures. Only good designers’ cultures challenge your own work culture for the better. Bad designers’ cultures merely hinder your business wellbeing.

Designerly Thought of the Day #20180301

The second step to understand design is to acknowledge that your way of designing is tightly coupled with your work culture and its subcultures. There is no universal process/method that “just works”, unless by “it just works” you mean “it works but”. Your work culture and the way of designing form a dynamic synergy of…

Designerly Thought of the Day #20180223

The first step to understand design is to know that the act of designing doesn’t quite fit into the traditional, analytical approach of problem solving ubiquitously seen in business. Design goes beyond deduction, inference, to the realm of abduction. Design abduction is the source of creativity in business.

Designerly Thought of the Day #20180221

There’s nothing wrong in thinking that certain things in business are immeasurable or intangible, until it becomes an unfortunately habit that facilitates indifference to creative problem solving or creativity itself. Don NOT ask “what have we been measuring lately?” Instead, ask “what haven’t we been measuring lately?”

Designerly Thought of the Day #20180214

In the business world, creativity in design is first and foremost creativity in solving business problems. It’s creative problem solving, at least initially. There are no dull scenarios in business, because there are always ways to be creative if you try hard enough.

2x2x2: Six Books You Deserve As a Designer

Do designers still read books? Despite the proliferation of short-form web content, books are still a thing. The former is very good at keeping us well informed, while the latter still best at delivering elaborated, accumulated, and well-organized collection of knowledge. Here are six books that helped and are still helping me. I hope they…

The Painted Veil of Hiring, Recruiting, and Job Seeking

Notes: Presented below is a long overdue article originally planned to be the first part of a three-part treatment on the problems and solutions that are mission-critical to three parties: the hiring company, the recruiter, and the job seeker. My focus has since switched to some other stuff, such as writing a couple of books….

Thoughts on Constraints in Design

A Constraint That Hinders Creative Freedom In both art and design, we can identify three dimensions of constraint: material, functional, and cultural. The beauty of art often lies in the freedom of expression where a constant, self-indulging or self-induced struggle over the constraints by those dimensions. All three pose fascinating challenges to an artist, who…

The Fine Lines of Our Lives

There are fine lines in our lives that form the basis of our decisions. At first, there’s the Affordability Line: When life is not even affordable, we struggle for mere survival. There’s barely a choice of what to do or how to live. When circumstances become better, we cross the Affordability Line and start to…

UX: The Trouble of a Term

The term UX (user experience) has probably come to the point where it’s becoming more misleading rather than encouraging, aspiring, or clarifying. “…the term [User Experience] has spread widely, so much so that it is starting to lose it’s meaning. …user experience, human centered design, usability; all those things, even affordances. They just sort of…