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Four Tips on Writing About Design

Some thoughts on producing high-quality design articles that actually get shared.Continue readingFour Tips on Writing About Design

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Invitations

I don’t believe by me drawing a line I can make things happen. I can’t force anybody to do anything or be anyone. But we can make invitations. – David Sim, speaking in the documentary The Human ScaleContinue readingInvitations

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Making Sense of Things is a Designer’s Job

As soon as something more formal than conversation starts taking place, many designers feel like they need to ask for a permission slip. You don’t. Never delegate understanding.Continue readingMaking Sense of Things is a Designer’s Job

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Notes from The Shape of Content by Ben Shahn

On why artists need to be challenged: Art should be well-subsidized, yes. But the purchase of a completed painting or a sculpture, the commisioning of a mural—or perhaps the publication of a poem or a novel or the production of a play—all these forms of recognition are the rewards of mature work. They are not…Continue readingNotes from The Shape of Content by Ben Shahn

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Plenty of Room Upfront!

Amateur bands ask you to demonstrate your excitement. “Hey come on! You guys can do better than that! Get up here! Let’s see some dancing” Pros? They share their excitement. Which eventually infects the audience, and is returned back to them.Continue readingPlenty of Room Upfront!

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UCD vs. Gestalt

I’m not so sure that users should always come first on design projects. Think about it like remodeling an old building. You could go up to all of the people who happen to be near the old building, or who have visited recently, and ask them why they came to the old building and what…Continue readingUCD vs. Gestalt

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The Only Bad Idea in Brainstorming

Going through some old scans and found this card from when I was working on a talk about brainstorming. This still stands out to me as one of the more important aspects of a sucessful ideation meeting: Decide at the beginning what you’re going to do at the end. If you don’t constrain a brainstorming conversation…Continue readingThe Only Bad Idea in Brainstorming

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Clarity Through Content Strategy

Getting the clarity and coordination you need to do your job, and to ensure the success of your project, often requires looking beyond the “content stuff” to the entire organization itself. This framework can help.Continue readingClarity Through Content Strategy

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A List of Stupid Questions

I’ve been in enough meetings and worked on enough projects to know that one well-timed and innocently-asked stupid question can be a powerful tool for reframing problems, redirecting conversation, and encouraging a decision-oriented mindset. On a particularly busy and brain-busting day a few weeks back, I noticed that I was asking the same type of…Continue readingA List of Stupid Questions