Category Archives: design

“I’m the boss.”

“When companies become design-led, he believes, designers are saying “get out of the way, I’m the boss.” The forceful “I’m the boss” mentality combines with design’s tendency to become what he calls a “microworld of aesthetic high-fives”: in which designers have an invisible language about what good design looks like based on a history and experience that they tend to privilege, and this understanding that designers together at the exclusion of others. Maeda thinks these two elements end up alienating other disciplines when everyone should be working together.”

John Maeda: “In reality, design is not that important” – Fast Company

This, 100%. He’s gonna get ripped for putting this on the table, but what he describes matches with my experience. And, as the article states, this doesn’t just apply to design and designers. I’ve seen it with engineering, hardware and software, too. Hubris.

Meada is “head of inclusion and computational design” at Automattic, the maker of WordPress. It seems he is taking the broadest possible view of inclusion, not just to consider traditional identity categories, but different perspectives and professional roles. It will be interesting to see if this gauntlet generates insightful discussion and change in the design community, or just pushback.

EDIT: Here it comes. And of course, it immediately goes for the “no true Scotsman” argument.

“User research is hard — not because recruiting participants and conducting interviews are difficult, the logistics have never been easier or less expensive. True user research is hard to take because it forces you to consider the true behaviors of real people who aren’t like you and quickly reveals wishful thinking.”

“Focus Groups Are Worthless” – Erika Hall

The Keys to a Great Rebrand

  • Be crystal clear on why you need a rebrand
  • Dig deep into your history
  • Be willing to change your story
  • Connect what you’re doing to a futuristic idea – and leave room for others to join
  • Meet your customers where they are
  • Get your key stakeholders deeply committed

Advice from Brian Collins, CCO of branding consultancy COLLINS, and Lelan Mashmeyer, CCO of yogurt maker Chobani. Both are co-founders of COLLINS.

…no algorithm can replicate human creativity. In fact, creativity is antithetical to the way artificial intelligence works. We develop machine learning by feeding in data about the way people react in certain situations. The point of algorithms is to predict what most people will do and execute that expected action.

How to thwart the robots: unabashed creativity” – Fast Company

I worry that statements like these misunderstand AI, fetishize human creativity, and underestimate the drive to substitute every human labor with capital.