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…

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…

Do Not Go Gentle into Good Design

Do not go gentle into good design, Solution should burn and live another day; Rage, rage against the problem we define. Though the means to their end ain’t no benign, Because their words had forked no action they Do not go gentle into good design. Lame designers wave by, crying how bright Their designs might…

Culture Thought of the Day

Encouraging people to take risks, although critical, is not enough for people to make informed decisions and take elaborated actions. Helping them explore where, when, and how to draw the line is perhaps far more important. The former is inspiring, the latter is leading.

Designerly Quote of the Day #20180912

…design is not a midpoint between the applied arts and sciences. Design is a third culture with its own founding postulates and axioms, with its own approach to learning and inquiry. Design is inclusive of things found in science such as reason and in the arts such as creativity. But just as science is inclusive…

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…

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,…

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…

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…

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…

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…

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…

Physicality for Digital Ritual

The Lost Ritual of the Physical Social ritual is largely lost in the digital scenarios. For example, the ritual of lending/borrowing physical books is lost in the digital scenario. So are the resulting mutual appreciation and social intimacy. When you lend an eBook to me, the act of kindness or friendship is barely visible. The very…

Is Everyone a Designer?

All Are the Designers? The déjà vu discussion started from a tweet by Jared Spool: Anyone who influences what the design becomes is the designer. This includes developers, PMs, even corporate legal. All are the designers. — Jared Spool (@jmspool) March 1, 2017 Which led to a fascinating discussion down the line here: @jmspool Going…

What Your Manager Expect From You

I’m your manager. And one day I tell you, I have this idea blah blah blah, could you work on it. You tell me sure I will. My idea is half-baked. There are no clear path to approach the task. Everything is kind of vague and uncertain. What do I expect from you? First, there…

Book Review: Beyond Measure

Beyond Measure: The Big Impact of Small Changes by Margaret Heffernan The Bottom Line Read the invigorating and highly quotable introduction as well as chapter 1 and stop there if you’re in a hurry. Official Summary A powerful manifesto for CEOs and employees alike: Influential and award-winning business leader Margaret Heffernan reveals how organizations can build ideal workplace cultures and create seismic…

Book Review: Why We Work

Why We Work by Barry Schwartz The Bottom Line Chapter 4, The Technology of Ideas, is worth the full price for re-introducing so many essential ideas you MUST understand in order to truly understand the dynamics of work culture. Official Summary An eye-opening, groundbreaking tour of the purpose of work in our lives, showing how work operates…

The Sillygun Belly Tales: An Ongoing Tweeries

The Sillygun Belly Tales, my new tweeries, has debuted a long time ago, as long as last week. A parody of the startup culture and the venture capitalist extremism, the tweeries elaborates on the meanings and impacts of various topics And, of course, the name Sillygun Belly is not a parody of the (in)famous Silicon…