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Reflections & Intentions: 2018 > 2019

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Looking back, for me 2018 — which felt like it lasted a decade! — was a year of transitions and connections, of not knowing and adapting to the unexpected, while seeking out those elusive moments of … discovery? achievement? fulfillment? Perhaps it’s simply the search for the most mundane thing of all…quite simply progress. As Mad Men’s Don Draper said often, “move...

Disposability in design: feature not a bug

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Building upon the previous post’s point about the need to “show the ugly” in design, not simply jumping to and showcasing your gorgeous Sketch mockups via templates and plug-ins…There’s another point about the value of disposability that’s worth mentioning briefly. To be disposable in the design process is essential to the overall nature of design as a progressively iterative practice of...

Showing the ugly in design

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Perhaps due to the ease & proliferation of Sketch templates for creating high-res mockups that look production-ready — dashboards to admin consoles to social feeds — there seems to be a strong bent towards going all realistic and photo-ready from the start of a project. Please don’t do that. I mean sure, why not make it look beautiful and well-formed, as if it’s already coded — indeed...

Designer as interpreter & therapist

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One essential truth of being a designer that I’ve realized over the past 15+ years of practice — with startups, large corps, and agencies — is that it’s not really about the the design itself. Of course, you are totally expected to deliver a well-crafted, thoroughly thought-out, and deeply empathetic or contextualized solution that speaks to business goals (i.e., metrics and OKRs). That’s simply...

The designer’s power

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Over a late afternoon coffee, a fellow designer asked me “how can we have power as designers” — in the context of “those big decisions” being made by non-design leaders in an organization. Well, it’s a common question and I address it the following way, by sussing out the nuances of power, authority, and influence.   First of all — All designers have power. Our power comes from our...

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