Personal review: 2013 highlights & lessons learned

No doubt 2013 worked out to be another incredible year of inspiring conversations, insightful engagements, and cool opportunities! For that I’m extremely grateful to my friends & colleagues at work and within the broader UX/Design community. It is only through such relationships I’ve actually made it this far :-) So, I want to briefly highlight […]

Navigating around the imperious “No”

Contending with stiff constraints, often resulting in a watered down design vision, is a common burden all designers face. It’s a major source of friction, having to deal with the inevitable frustrations of hearing “No” from engineers ground down by “death march” schedules or nervous managers highly reluctant to address risks. Often the designers’– themselves […]

Success factors for delivering “Labs” value

So what is it exactly to truly be a “Labs” entity, functionally and strategically? It frankly seems to be a bit of an overused buzzword last few years, appending “Labs” to a company brand to somehow convey a marketable quality of something techie and… vaguely innovative ;-) Well, after some reflection upon my own experience […]

Designing to achieve “magical impossibility”

Today I heard Ben Davis of the Bay Lights public art project describe his process of achieving something that I dubbed a “magical impossibility”— overcoming a situation fraught with maddening concerns of donor financing, complex structural engineering, regulated maintenance tactics, homeland security, and the intra-city politics of obtaining permits. Whew. And yet! Through luck and persistence […]

Optics and pragmatics: The politics of design

One of the toughest lessons I’ve been learning as a corporate design leader is the political nature of designing, in terms of the actual activity of shaping a novel form or behavior that overthrows an existing model. Hey, it’s some scary stuff for people used to doing things a certain way :-)  First let me […]