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…

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…

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…

The Chain of Intentions in Interaction Design

Design is purposeful. Interaction is intentional. There’s a chain of intentions in Design. They are connected by interactions and justified by purpose. Structuring the flow of those intentions is a critical part of design. Intention Vs. Purpose For clarity, let’s first differentiate intention from purpose. We can loosely define intention in design as the goal…

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

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…

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…

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 #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?”