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,…

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 Thought of the Day #20180906

Design is purposeful. Interaction is intentional. Intention is full of influences, which designers are responsible for. A decent interaction design always goes with elaborate planning of the chain of intentions. And when done well, the experience delights the users with senses of achievement and meaning.

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 #20180828

When you get far enough along the spectrum that you really know the difference between bad and good, and how much there is to know, and that you will always be surprised, and are convinced you’re nothing more than mediocre— that’s when you’re at your best. That’s when you get the best results. You’ve put…

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…

Designerly Thought of the Day #20180817

Persistently thrive to become so good that people can’t ignore you. Share selflessly. Help responsibly. Learn endlessly. Think constantly. Do creatively.

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…

Designerly Quote of the Day #20180808

“Real designers surround themselves with evidence. You really gotta have the evidence and you really gotta have crit[icism] in order to make the world better.” — Natasha Jen, Design Thinking is Bullsh*t

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 #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…

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…

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…

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…

Demons Run When Designer Goes to Work

Demons Run When Designer Goes to Work Demons run when designer goes to work Client will fall and drown the tongue When designer goes to work Artsy dies and business lies Taste will fade and user will rise When designer goes to work Demons run, but count the cost The design’s done, but meaning is lost When…