The boss sends a memo announcing a new policy that some people in the team disagree with.
Disagreement with the new policy makes for some good water cooler conversation.
These that have the confidence to disagree, privately reply to the boss, and the rest remain quiet. Boss is happy to write a follow-up email that clarifies a couple of points.
There is still some disagreement by the water cooler.
The boss addresses the replies, and some counter argumentation gets built. She is then forced to explain things from the beginning, and some whys emerge. …
Every other week, I spend a few days visiting my client at their office, which is in a different State.
When it comes to packing for this short business trips, I have become quite an expert: I like getting rid of anything that is not strictly necessary, so I often find myself missing a swimsuit at a hotel with an amazing pool, lacking an umbrella during the mother of all storms, or buying a sweater at the airport to cope with A/C. Ok, maybe I’m not an expert at all.
Anyway, back to my frequent trips to this client.
After some trial and error, I ended up being a regular of this hotel. There is nothing I particularly love about it, but I want to tell you about a specific feature: the rooms have got like a dozen USB outlets. …
My ideal dinner is a collage of American and Spanish experiences.
It starts at 8pm. As soon as I sit down, someone is bringing tap water, and I can ask them for a cold beer right away: there’s no wait for the water waiter, wine steward, drinks waitress, food server, cocktail master, the bus boy, and an assistant to the regional manager whose sole purpose is to bring the menu.
My ideal restaurant is different from the one next door, and only one of them has salmon, chicken, and would you like fries or salad with that.
There is bread – real bread – on the table. …
When I knew I would be coming to the US, I was curious about how design would be different from what I had experienced so far in Spain. Others are curious too and, when I posted a question sticker asking for ideas of things to write about on my Instagram stories, a couple of people enquired about this.
Well, I am sorry to report I do not have much insight into these differences, but I can share what my biggest personal challenge has been: language.
Accurate language for clearly communicating ideas, structured language for thought building, sticky language to make connections, small language for small talk and charming language for boring meetings, short language for long phone calls, and friendly language for emails that should have never been sent. …
You are inside one of the many rooms of a really big house, and you can’t wait to explore them all. This one has three doors and, for some reason, you know what’s behind two of them – something seems familiar. You are designing.
You open the third door and there is a new room, and this time you see five doors. Two of them are close together and look very similar. You grab both handles and pull at the same time. You are designing. Two rooms appear in front of you and you are comparing them. …
My friend Gorriti’s favorite cocktail is the Negroni, a simple mix that’s ideal before dinner and not so great after that other Negroni I just had.
I have to admit it has grown on me, and its recipe is the easiest to memorize: stir a mix of gin, vermouth and Campari using a 1:1:1 ratio, then serve on the rocks with an orange peel.
A recent trip to Spain provided the perfect context for an exercise that mixes service, business and interaction design with the same 1:1:1 ratio.
Feel free to use it in class with your students, with apprentices at work, or just use parts of it yourself to practice areas of design you’d like to get better at. …
Design is never done and, in a digital world, amendments are always possible.
Whenever I ship something, I feel a temptation to revisit my project and polish it. There is also magnetic force to look at stats, look for tweets, listen to opinions and rejoice in claps.
While reflecting on what’s been done allows for learning, very soon the project feels old and the spiral of nostalgia turns into paralysis, which often leads to depression.
The best artists and professionals I have known are already creating the next thing while the audience is still savoring their latest piece.
The hardest part is probably shipping. The second hardest is moving on.