Sunday, May 8, 2016

Kent State UXD Program- UXD in Practice Reflective Journaling Week 7

I had the opportunity to listen/read to the first part of the book called Nonsense:The Power of Not Knowing by Jamie Holmes.

It is a fascinating voyage into the power of letting yourself not know and the impact of doing this.

This is interesting to me because I believe designers are great at doing this more than anyone else.   Designers can hold a thought an idea in their mind and not make a decision right away what they want to do with it.  Most people have a sense of urgency to make a decision and find themselves that they are not creative.  They are creative but they not have the patience for taking a chance of
not knowing something.  The book discusses the impact of not knowing and most often our emotions are amplified, sometimes for the better and sometimes for the worse.  I am still reading it but I would recommend anyone who is interested in this unique skill, of  not knowing (or not always having the answer) and still thriving and being successful in your career.


Sunday, May 1, 2016

Kent State UXD Program- UXD in Practice Reflective Journaling Week 6

I had the opportunity to see Bruce Mau speak at the Bersin by Deloitte Conference called IMPACT in Hollywood, Florida last week.  The conference is mostly a Human Resources, Talent, Leadership and Learning conference.  In his introduction he asked everyone who was a designer to raise their hand, and about 1/10 the room raised their hand.  Then he looked up the description of the Bersin by Deloitte member community and highlighted that the word design was very clear in the definition of community members.  He asked again who was a designer and everyone raised their hand.  The members of this conference work to design human experiences for the purposes of meeting the needs of employees whether its designing a on boarding experience or designing a leadership curriculum.  Design is an important part of what we do but a lot of us are not aware of key design principals.  His presentation went on to further talk about the notion of enterprise design and I would share some images taken from the presentation but I am not sure I am alloweded to.

It was a great presentation and I recommend the book called Glimmer (audiobook version) by Warren Berger which talks about Bruce Mau’s career and the impact of design thinking on our world and culture.  The paperbook version has the interesting title CAD Monkeys, Dinosaur Babies and T-Shaped People: Inside the World of Design Thinking and How It Can Spark Creativity and Innovation.


Link to audio book version


Link to the paperback version


Friday, April 22, 2016

Kent State UXD Program- UXD in Practice Reflective Journaling Week 5

In the book Glimmer(Berger, 2009), Warren Berger discusses the controversy of doing too much research to do effective design. 

Bruce Mau has his own philosophy called speculative design.  Although he thinks it’s important to get in touch with your customers and understand their lives there is a danger in relying on this too much.  Mau uses his speculative design to write down some initial thoughts on a proposed design. (Berger, 2009) Although Mau does do the research he often finds his initial speculative design is correct. (Berger, 2009)

The book discusses opinions from John Thackara and Cameron Sinclair on if designers should stay to their local area in terms of focusing on design improvements.  (Berger, 2009) The summary is that while some designers in an attempt to do a lot of research do make mistakes in foreign environments, there are many more examples of designers who have made a significant impact to the world by looking outside their own environment. (Berger, 2009)  The Aquaduct, , is one such example designed by IDEO designers to tackle the problems of sanitation and transportation of water in developing regions of the world.

I think one area that the book does not address and can sometimes make a different is the passion that drives the designer.  A designer who does not have passion for the project and may lack some design skills may rely on research too much.   I believe it is this passion that is the difference and gives that person an ability to listen and pay attention better than anyone else.


Berger, W. (2009). Glimmer: how design can transform your life, your business, and maybe even the world. Random House Canada.

Sunday, April 17, 2016

Kent State UXD Program- UXD in Practice Reflective Journaling Week 4

So in my project I am creating a ficticous app that tries to align long term goals, sometimes called life accounts (Hyatt & Harkavy, 2016) to our daily and weekly tasks. I took a life coaching class a few years ago and I enjoy testing out new productivity tools. I thought I would try to combined the challenge of setting long term goals with a App that could help steer people back to meeting those long term goals.

Google recently released something called Goals as a part of their Google Calendar product that tries to help use your available time to meet Goals. It is not the same as I envisioned it but in essence my own App and Google Goals project is trying to align (in their own way) the goals we have with the available time that comes to us. I honestly think for a user of Google Calendars their product would work better than mine even if I had a completed App ready. One of the findings from my research is that a persons business or personal calendar is a key tool in keeping things organized from day to day. I still might develop my own version of the App because there are more people that don't use Google Calendar that do. The other reason is I believe my own design tenents including a feature to ask for support for a Life Account or a reminder/todo is more thoughtful in design.

Hyatt, Michael, Harkavy, Daniel, (2016). Living Forward: A Proven Plan to Stop Drifting and Get the Life You Want. Baker Books.

Sunday, April 10, 2016

Kent State UXD Program- UXD in Practice Reflective Journaling Week 3

This week I was fortunate to come across the book Make It So Nathan Shedroff.  His book is a really interesting read on how science fiction has impacted current day design.  The thought that science fiction as a result of suspending reality can create innovative designs is fascinating topic.

Nathan also has a series of videos on Lynda called "Nathan Shedroff on Design Strategy and the Merging of Business and Design".  His conversation on how those in the business world and those in the design world have to come together to create effective and innovative solutions was fantastic.  You can check out the preview (1st episode) if you don't have a Lynda Account here.

If I lived closer to Nathan's graduate school program I would definitely do my best to attend.  The program is a great mix of business knowledge and design knowledge at the California College of the Arts.  The information on the Lynda web site is a great site for those that want to take their design knowledge and gain a better understanding of how business and design can effectively combine.

Sunday, April 3, 2016

Kent State UXD Program- UXD in Practice Reflective Journaling Week 2

I drive about 70 miles to work each way and to deal with the amount of driving I have been listening to Audible audio books a lot.  One book in particular that I love is a book called Glimmer by Warren Berger.  I strongly recommend the book for any interested in the field of design. 

One of the key topics discussed is the nature of using research for design.  There are some critics of using too much design.  Some say research is done for research sake.  Bruce Mau is one the designers Warren talks about in his book.   Warren Berger talks about Mau when he states “Mau sketched his model, showing that instead of starting with research (top drawing), he starts with design speculation and then uses research at intervals throughout the process.”(Berger, 2009).  Mau still believes like most designers that your instincts need to be tested in the field with potential customers to make sure your design speculation is correct.(Berger, 2009)

Berger, W. (2009). Glimmer: how design can transform your life, your business, and maybe even the world. Random House Canada.

Sunday, March 20, 2016

Kent State UXD Program- UXD in Practice Reflective Journaling Week 1

I am in the learning and development industry and one of the skills that has been getting some press is something called performance consulting.  It is really the act of making sure creating an online course (most common example) is really the solution needed to address a performance/business problem.  Since taking the UX courses at Kent State I've realized that a performance consultant is a kind of designer.  A performance consultant thinks about the experience of the audience in a very similar way that a UX professional does.  A performance consultant looks at the areas of motivation just as a UX professional leverages empathy in the same way to understand a specific problem or opportunity.  In fact, there are more similarities than differences.  A performance consultant is in a manner of speaking a UX professional that focuses on the design of business performance.  The biggest difference is that a performance consultant is more aligned with the business than a standard UX professional because that is the lane where performance consultants and learning professionals work so to speak.   The client in the case of a performance consultant is always the business.  While this doesn't create a lot of variety, the principals of UX can help ensure there is always an alignment to the business by using principals in visual design and techniques such as creating prototypes.