Alexandria — Issue #020 : Time Well Spent
A bi-weekly newsletter dedicated to bringing you the best content related to design, technology, and entrepreneurship.
The difficulty with a concept like decolonization, though, is that it means different things to different people in different places. Colonialism has manifested in so many different ways around the world. For some, decolonizing is a project of de-centering the perspectives of settlers to emphasize those of the indigenous; others focus on decolonization as a process of recovery and the restoration of identity; still others use the term to critique Eurocentrism and modernism. All the concept’s varied, interconnected meanings have different implications when considered in the context of design. And because one crucial part of the process of decolonization is recognizing diversity of thought, we decided to bring together a range of practitioners from communities with differing colonial histories for a roundtable discussion on the topic.
More Amazing Reads
I’ve used various forms of todo lists, task trackers, and productivity apps. They were all discouraging because the things to do kept getting longer, and there were too many interrelated things like past meeting notes, calendar appointments, idea lists, and lab notebooks, which were all on different systems. I gave up and started just tracking in a single text file and have been using it as my main productivity system for 12 years now. It is so essential to my work now, and has surprisingly scaled with a growing set of responsibilities, that I wanted to share this system. It’s been my secret weapon.
Introductions are brief yet valuable moments for connection in which we can tell the stories of our work and our lives, in a compelling and heart-centered way. But in the era of multi-hyphenates, it’s not always easy to talk about what we do. Here’s where Holley comes in.
Ambitious people are supposed to have a strong determination to raise above their current condition and a drive to be successful — whatever that means to them. In Western society, it’s considered a valuable trait as it usually reflects a better visualisation of the future, a healthy self-esteem, and a higher power of abstraction. The issue is that ambition often constitutes a trilemma: a hard choice between three options or the complete impossibility to combine three different options.
Very rarely do I get handed a problem statement. Whenever colleagues want to engage with me in a research project, they have already landed at a solution. I am not saying this is bad because solutions are a comfortable place to start. They are easy. However, they limit our potential and possibilities.
DesignOps is an emerging role, it’s still unclear to many what it entails. I began my journey into DesignOps at Co-op Digital in June 2019. Here is how I approached it, what I did, and what I learned along the way in my first 6 months on the job.
Did they communicate their understanding of the problem they were solving? Very few people do this, and it sucks. It sends the message that they were either lazy, not user-centered (where the “user” is the person looking at the portfolio), or that they value the wrong things about design: making pretty things and not solving problems through clear communication.
Traditional reporting methods are stuck in a moment of time — “Our research told us this…” might be true when that document was written, but it’s unlikely to have been updated when that was discovered to be incorrect a few quarters later. By holding insights as separate and independent of their sources means they can be constantly re-tested and allowed to live and die by the evidence. This leads to what I think is the most important benefit: Atomic research forces evidence based thinking
Animations in user experience can help by providing feedback and preventing disorientation or can be distracting, annoying, and dizzying. There are two dimensions for making animations a positive aspect of the user experience: their purpose and their execution. The purpose of the animation will typically dictate the type of animation or transition. Also, keep in mind how frequently users will encounter the animation: the more frequent the animation, the more subtle and shorter you’ll want it to be.
Design tasks are a symptom. They are a symptom of a culture imbalance. They are a symptom of a wobbly stool. Of design leaders who don’t have time for design. Of a quality vacuum. They are a symptom of a broken recruitment process and of organisations that prefer applicants who have time outside of work to conduct the tasks, regardless of their personal circumstances.