Design Thinking

Design is not that Important

John Maeda, former MIT professor and renown designer, sent shivers down the spines of designers everywhere in his recent Design in Tech Report when he made the bold statement “…in reality, design is not that important.” For years designers have been lobbying for, and getting, more authority and influence over how things get made. Overall that’s a…

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Human-centered Design isn’t just for digital businesses

Executives in legacy businesses, particularly those who aren’t digital-first, often ask me how human-centered design can help them when they aren’t shipping digital products. Look no further than the retail fashion chain Zara.  With over 2200 retail locations you might imagine the logistics and supply chain issues Zara faces are daunting. And you’d be right.…

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The Business Value of Design

Look at the last 5 years. The black line is the S&P 500. The colored lines are companies who use human-centered design and design thinking as a core product strategy. Great design process drives real results. The trick is aligning the business goals with the goals of the customer. An unavoidable fact of the digital…

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Solid vs. Outline Icons: Which Are Faster to Recognize?

No doubt you’ve seen lots of icons while using your favorite websites and apps. Have you ever thought about which icons are easier to recognize? Icons are one of those little details that can make or break the experience of using an app. They need to be easy to recognize in all sorts of situations,…

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The Best Design Advice is 200 Years Old

Every once in a while something from the past becomes front and center again. History repeats itself, and all. Such is the case with John Ruskin. Never heard of him? You’re not alone. I first heard of Ruskin years ago. The article linked below brought him back into focus. Read this, then read that. Ruskin…

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Ford Bets Big on Design Thinking

Why did Ford hire a furniture maker as CEO instead of someone with more automotive experience? The short story is because Jim Hackett understands the importance of designing products for the people who will use them. “the question hovering over the car industry is basically whether high-tech entrants such as Tesla and Google can learn…

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Empathy Maps: The Business of Putting Users First

Working in UX, we take empathy for granted. To us, it may feel like an overused buzzword, but we don’t realize that the majority of the business world hasn’t heard “empathy” within the context of a professional organization before. While we start the design phase thinking about customer needs and goals, this process hasn’t been…

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UX Design, UI Design and No Design  —  Oh My!

Can I share with you that I am not that fun at parties. For those of you who have met me in person, that will make sense, and you won’t be surprised that my go-to small talk question (a party faux-pas) is “what do you do for work?” I actually love learning about what others do, but…

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