all thoughts

beliefs about making things

The scientific method, agile development, and the design process are based on this fundamental skeleton of observation that feeds reflection and then action that feeds back into observation. This is also how learning happens. A lot of people forget about the reflection or synthesis step, and rush into action. They also sometimes start with action to observation, and that creates a fairly reactive state.

It’s this number of iterations that lead to more learnings – not the amount of time you’ve spent doing something. That reflection piece is incredibly important to learning.

Have strong opinions, loosely held. It’s incredibly important to not hold onto ideas so strongly, but also have a stake in the ground to uproot. These strong opinions are usually formed from a lot of observations accumulated over time. People might call this gut instinct or taste, but you can get around the time needed to subconciously develop that instinct by doing directed research.

Designers have a responsibility to continually educate and get buy-in from the organization. It’s not the PM’s job, or all on a design manager. Every designer needs to be an ambassador to other parts of the organization. It’s beautiful when other people also advocate for good design without you there.

Tools, methods, fidelity of deliverables, and the deliverables themselves follow goals and constraints. Constraints may include how internal teams work and the degree of how individuals manage and interface with others.

Deliverables are a means to an end, not the end itself. What matters is what goes out the door to actual users/stakeholders, and their experience with it.

The best companies create an environment for healthy, open collaboration of different perspectives, while trusting those talented people to work autonomously on a substantial problem.