About being sensible

Missives from Hothouse Design

Beware over reliance on tools

Deirdre Wilson – Tuesday, July 18, 2017   

Beware over reliance on toolsTools of all sorts are being sold to us as the latest desirable purchase. The latest time-waster to plague meetings is the chorus of competing suggestions for new tools that happens whenever someone mentions a problem.   Read More . . .

Quick'n'dirty process testing delivers delight as well as data

Deirdre Wilson – Wednesday, July 05, 2017   

Quick'n'dirty process testing delivers delight as well as dataI saw a bit of quick'n'dirty testing being done at my local cafe this week. The cafe opens at 6:30am and the only people in there are regulars like me. The staff seem to know most customers by name. I wondered how they learn names as well as each person's coffee preference.   Read More . . .

Why some projects get stuck before they start

Deirdre Wilson – Friday, June 30, 2017   

Why some projects get stuck before they startOne of my great delights in life is having a really honest conversation. The honesty comes is when either person can say what they really feel without fear. It is in this context that I can tell someone that they are an idiot and they read affection in every syllable even though we both have acknowledged that they just did something really stupid.   Read More . . .

Think like a designer and stop solving problems that don't exist

Deirdre Wilson – Monday, May 22, 2017   

Good ideas come from following a design processAre you annoyed by ‘ideas people’? Every time I hear someone described as an ‘ideas person’ I hear ‘loose cannon’. It is so much worse when someone tells me that they are an ideas person because I have to try and keep a straight face and not say something rude. As a designer I find it as annoying as having design described as that ‘arty-farty’ stuff.   Read More . . .

Bad design traps people in low value work

Deirdre Wilson – Monday, May 15, 2017   

Bad design costs companies moneyThis is a story about a piece of ill-considered graphic design that created low value work, added cost and produced waste. The waste caused by poor design is much greater than just piles of printed rubbish, it extends all the way through to demotivating high value staff with low value tasks.   Read More . . .

Why 'story-telling' isn't going to go away any time soon

Deirdre Wilson – Monday, May 08, 2017   

Information design helps people leap the gulf between information and knowledgeExperience is the gulf that separates information from knowledge. You need experience to turn information into knowledge that you can put to use. But, not all experiences should be had first hand. It is not necessary to experience falling from a tall building to know that the outcome is not going to be good. Seeing someone else take that fall will do the trick. Or for a much less traumatic option: being told a story about someone falling from a building will do just fine as an experience.   Read More . . .

How unfettered creativity makes you look stupid

Deirdre Wilson – Monday, May 01, 2017   

Use the visual language that matches your audienceI found the example for this post on a blog from a company that was all about providing the mechanism for you to explain stuff to your audience. I am not going to reveal where I found it because that is just pointing the finger at someone’s poor performance.   Read More . . .

Talking about lazy thinking

Deirdre Wilson – Monday, September 26, 2016   

Talking about lazy thinkingLater this week I am giving a talk to a bunch of clever women working in the supply chain industry. I have been thinking about what I can talk about that will be interesting and either refreshing or a inspiration top up.   Read More . . .

Your boring forms are a major cause of stupid work and brand damage

Deirdre Wilson – Monday, June 06, 2016   

Boring forms – Stupid workStupid work is what we used to call poor productivity. Brand damage is caused by anything that annoys your customers, users or staff. Stupid work that causes brand damage would therefore seem to be a good place to make changes – and quickly! The source will be easy to find in any organisation – go and take a look at your forms.   Read More . . .

What exploding mice have to do with executing a plan

Deirdre Wilson – Wednesday, May 25, 2016   

Execute a planWe have had a bit of a mouse plague. It feels like a plague because I have mice everywhere I am – in the office and at home. The mice in the office left their 'calling cards' all over the kitchen bench but the mice at home exploded behind the fridge creating an unholy smell.   Read More . . .


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About being sensible.

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