Being a designer

This has actually been simmering in my mind for almost four years (!) since my days working at Involution Studio in Silicon Valley. What does it really mean to be a designer, as opposed to an analyst or guru or a UX professional? I’ve deferred writing this, as it necessarily involves wrapping some delicate and […]

A designer’s toughest challenge

Being a designer is not for the faint-hearted, as I’ve often said to my former class and elsewhere on this blog. It takes a certain fortitude of sprit, conviction of purpose, and sharpness of intellect to handle the volatile, sometimes brutal, mix of politics, constraints, opinions, and schedules in any situation–agency, corporate in-house, or freelance. […]

Empathy for non-designers

This past week we held internal product design training sessions for our product managers and engineers. It was quite eye-opening to see firsthand the difficulties of bringing someone from outside the design “way of thinking” into, in their view, a radical notion of reality based upon idealism, humanism, visualization, and (gasp) making mistakes! This prompted […]

What is “design evangelism”?

Recently had a lively, thought-provoking lunch with a design candidate, exploring a wide range of issues from “what is user experience” to “design evangelism”. The latter in particular caused me to reflect more deeply afterwards on what it means to be a design evangelist, if that’s even the proper phrase. As my lunch partner suggested, […]

Jony Ive on “design value”

From Paul Kunkel’s Apple Design, c1996: “As Apple designers we will continue to deliver power, ease of use and functionality  second to none. But the fruit of our work will be shaping the perceptions of those who use our products. The more we learn about our customers, easier it will be to reach that goal. Ultimately, […]