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?”

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…

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…

Ethics of The Wow Factor in Design

There’s another side of the matter, and that side only comes to trouble us when we ask the fundamental questions. Good Design Is Like Good Sex, Wow Is Like Porn Good design is like good sex. A lot more things than physicality or emotion contribute to a pleasurable or rewarding experience. The wants, needs, as…

Do We Really Understand Accessibility?

What We Talk About When We Talk About Accessibility ? If our services were not accessible enough, we could be effectively shutting out at least 1 in 10 of potential customers. “Accessibility is the practice of accommodating multiple abilities, by making products and services easier to use for more people in more situations.” – Kel…

Overlays and Popups in UI

Here’s to something that hovers above the existing UI view. Some call it overlay, others popups, dialogs, box, etc. It’s widely used for confirmation, notification, or some input actions. Let’s just call them popups for convenience. Two Dimensions Here’s a simple way to categorize them using only 2 dimensions: Interruptive vs. non-interruptive Informational vs. actionable Interruptive popup…

From Visual to Behavior and Beyond

Where do we start to establish a UI pattern library? A visual standard? A UX standard? Start pushing the pixels is a good first step to facilitate discussions. While the challenge is that user experience is more than meets the eye. The more precise we want to be, the more issues we may have to…

How Not to Design: 13 Effective Ways to Fail

Here’s a great summary of the many ways we can fail at designing, quoted from the book Understanding Design: Always cling to your first idea. Jump into the details immediately. Solve one aspect of the problem first. Ignore a stakeholder, preferably a vital one. First design the form, then sort out how the thing should…

Bookview: Experience Required by Robert Hoekman Jr

Experience Required: How to become a UX leader regardless of your role by Robert Hoekman Jr The Bottom Line Your first book towards a designer career and constant reminder of any career, because, seriously, you don’t get such sobering insights and decent advice very often in life or career. Official Summary For all the resources…