Hacked By Imam with love
I recently joined Hi! a real-time story telling platform, where people share their moments from around the world. This has been my secret sketch book of observations where I both practice writing in English, and telling stories as they happen.
I have tons of invites if you want to join, let me know! The community is beautiful, small and intimate, just like when the internet started. I feel bad I have neglected it since I started teaching full-time at General Assembly. Tonight I felt the urge to write my day.
Today was an amazing day.
I am teaching the Data Driven Design workshop at General Assembly!!
You should come!
This class demystifies the buzz around metrics, analytics, and data. For every digital product, there are strategic level key performance metrics (KPI) that management has to monitor. On the tactical level, product design decisions should be data driven.
This class will demonstrate how to make actionable design decisions based on metrics from Google Analytics, A/B testing, eyetracking data, social media and real-time stats. Oftentimes, there is excessive data and reporting; this class shows you how to streamline analytics installation, tracking, monitoring, and reporting processes to make your product development and design decisions systematically data driven.
Overview of how to set key performance metrics (KPIs)
Best practices for monitoring success metrics
Build a customer lifecycle analysis framework
Step by step walkthrough of analytics tools
Become familiar with next generation packages such as Mixpanel and Optimizely
Segment users into a ladder of engagement that is actionable for Product Design
So in January we all moved back to NYC thanks to husband Colin Vernon who was hired by littleBits [YAY!] as Web and Mobile director. Since then I have been trying to adjust and adapt. For the past years since we had moved out of NYC all I ever dreamed about was to come back to my beloved Brooklyn. Life is unpredictable, here we are back to Brooklyn… when all the Brooklynite and New Yorkers move out of the big city once they all have kids, we do the opposite by moving back in this crazy concrete jungle with a one year old. [CRAY!]
Since then it has been a hell of a ride for me as a new mom in a new city. Finding a daycare, starting my own daycare? Finding work, getting hired by the first thing that came to me, and finding out that I am not at a stage where I can just take on just anything that pops in front of me, I have the luxury to chose who I want to collaborate with. The experience I have accumulated in the past decade has shaped me in a way that I now want to start my own business.
Carl and I emailed compulsively with each other, we both wanted to work with like minded people, we both needed a space for dreams to shape up. We are both idealists. We are both designers who have tested our ideals. We know what can work. We know how to make it work. We have this idea that we can design a better world somehow. This is how Le Design Team was born. Out of a dream, out of a series of “what if we did this,” “what would happen if we did that,” and here we are.
As we are working on “toolkit One” coming up on August 1st, we have in the meanwhile gathered our thoughts and process in what we call a white paper explaining our Organization-Centered Design.
INQUIRY BASED SYSTEMIC DESIGN.“A common obstacle to understanding is our habit of asking for a specific product we have used or seen rather than analyzing our need.” – Richard Saul Wurman
Inquiry Based Systemic Design moves through several phases – we present these phases as an ordered list but the process does not follow a strict order. Secondarily the ordered list does not illustrate the magnitude of each step, a magnitude that will vary between every project.
Investigation LEARN HOW TO QUESTION
Observation LEARN HOW TO LOOK
Documentation HOW DID WE LEARN THIS? WHAT HAVE WE LEARNED? WHO ELSE KNOWS?
Workshop HOW BIG IS THIS STEP? HOW DO WE KNOW WE MADE PROGRESS?
Expression ATTEMPT TO ARTICULATE HOW IT COULD BE DIFFERENT
Building quickly / Quick prototyping
Testing the built thing
Loops / Metaloops
Following this path does not ensure success – process is important and as you’ll notice there is not too much unique about our process – it did not spring fully formed from a god head –
We are confident in our ability to remain open and integrate defensible ideas, separating them from those that, for whatever reason, are not appropriate.
Cultivating this sense of appropriateness is an important part of our investigative technique.”
We are inspired by many dreamers, designers, by design fiction, William Gibson, Bruce Sterling, Maria Kalman, Tina Roth Eisenberg, Bob Taylor, Doug Englebart, Russell Davies, Ben Terrett, Matt Jones, Geoff Manaugh, Kurt Vonnegut, Brett Victor, Genevieve Bell, Brené Browne, and the list goes on…
And as everything is a remix, we have processed all the things we read, we think are right, the things we have expertise in, the things we want to try and are very excited to launch our new business.
– Startups growing too fast not allowing enough time for the CEO to make the right organizational decisions… What are the priorities now? Are we keeping our intents intact? Do we need to? How are we changing? How can we design for change?
– Governmental organizations in desperate need to keep up with the wheel of the Innovation Time.
– Cities who have real life problems to solve and are willing to try a new company without any background of corrupted management consultancy, rather a new efficient light way to work and innovate.
– Companies in desperate need to keeping it real as well as optimizing their internal organization for a better more efficient rendering.
Design is not the action of creating a new compelling, highly addictive product or app.
Designers are trained to embrace chaos and complexity, to hold multiple and often competing ideas in their heads at one time, to be flexible and nimble in the face of changing constraints, and most importantly, to visualize concepts, systems and services that don’t yet exist. Designers tell stories about how the future ought to be. — Jon Kolko
Design is the ability to be able to zoom-out and see a macro-vision of the system, and maybe even the system within the system. It’s like focussing on everything at once, gazing into chaos and let your eyes wander to catch the patterns that will start poping up. Design is the practice of problem-solving and creating new alternatives for existing requests/demands/needs/issues. So designing something and being system agnostic, or culture agnostic can be problematic because it can a) lead you and your team to failure after a long hard bumpy road and can be expensive, or b) dispose of an entire process of design that was disconnected of the actual system, ecosystem, environment where it will naturally be.
There aren’t any rules that can be followed as rules are made to be bent and broken. Below I suggest 7 principles.
These are the principles I try to follow. I do not hold the ultimate truth. This works for me. I know this sounds like a disclaimer I will end it right away.
Employers are demanding a workforce that can engage with complicated, ill-formed problems. Executives want individual contributors that can embrace volatility and unpredictability, while crafting narratives of the future. Brands are realizing success when they try to empathize with—rather than understand—their customers. This—not the production of beautiful things—is what designers do best, and it is the value they bring to organizations. Producing stunning creative output it only a tiny part of what it means to be a designer, yet aesthetics continue to be the only part that we herald as valuable. But it’s these other skills—empathizing, systems thinking, storytelling—that describe a successful career in design. — Jon Kolko
To think one needs space. You cannot start thinking about thinking or it will not happen. Just think. Action happens when the mind is directed to it, as opposed to when the mind is directed in observing it. The systems are hard to see because not only are they invisible, but they are omnipresent and to be able to function efficiently we trained our minds to take them for granted, erase their presence and make their impact as common sense “Nothin’ we can do” as possible. We use our minds to create a comfortable situation that allows us to focus on smaller details that can generate our revenue. It’s a survival fact. In order to survive, many of us must work. To be able to focus on work, our mind blurs out the massive complicated chaotic chaos that is our world so we can zoom-in and finish what we started. It is the tilt-shift view. But when hired as a designer, we are often finding ourselves gazing into the vast complicated chaos with a slightly uncomfortable feeling of dizziness and vertigo and we try mapping it. As accurately as possible. So we can begin to understand the impact of our design on it and from it. And we practice this action, we look like we are thinking.
The ability to sketch and communicate a simple thought, or concept, or poem, or an idea is in itself and art form. Designers aren’t often allowed to be artists. When I was studying in Paris 14 years ago (OMG! 14 years ago!) at a wonderful little independent art school training people to become designers (applied-arts), we were drawing all day long. We weren’t allowed to use a computer, we had to do everything by hand, and we had to train our hand to imitate the precision a computer could execute. We all found this ridiculous and annoying. I wasn’t very good at imitating the computer. I preferred embracing the irregularities and the imperfections of drawing, as to me that seemed more authentic to what the world resembles. But of course, as a future designer, they had to train us for perfection. And we suffered deeply from it. Perfection is banal. Better asymmetry and irregularity.
So sketch. Sketch like no one is watching. And continue to practice the act of sketching. Because the most important thing is not the aesthetic of your sketch, it is in its power to communicate the idea you want to come across. Which brings us to my last thought: Consciousness and awareness is everything a designer should aim for. Once we are aware, we cannot be anything but responsible and make things that possess a core meaning, purpose and life of its own.
Valerie Dumaine + Slowfactory Collaborate to Create this dress. Now Available for Pre.Order.
Photo by: Sandrine Castellan
Yes! It is out! Finally! The Terra Modis Dress is a wearable art piece made in collaboration with Valérie Dumaine, Montreal’s hottest designer. The image is taken by NASA and shows the Antarctic melting. Here you have a comparison of the same image, 30 years ago! We will produce this dress based on Pre.Order only. So if you want one, you know what to do.
Beauty that aims to raise awareness. A piece that speaks for itself. Global Warming melting away thousands of years old ice. And captured by science. Worn by you. Thank you Open Data.
Photo by: Sylvain Blais
Greenland brings together the vision and designs of Valérie Dumaine with the innovative concepts and open-culture philosophy of Creative Commons advocate Celine Semaan founder of Slowfactory.com. These two limited edition items feature stunningNasa Hubble images of the world’s largest island showing the Artic ice melting considerably as an effect of Global Warming.