About being sensible

Missives from Hothouse Design

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 . . .

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 . . .

Filling systems are dead, tagging rules!

Deirdre Wilson – Tuesday, March 22, 2016   

If enough people do stuff the same inefficient way for long enough someone else will solve the problem that those people are are avoiding. We all know someone who has one folder on their computer called My Files and everything is dumped into that folder. Ghastly way to store and try to find anything.   Read More . . .

Disruption is dangerous language

Deirdre Wilson – Tuesday, March 22, 2016   

Business jargon is a dangerous thing. People grab hold of new jargonistic terms as if they have found the only life raft in a sea boiling with sharks. Problem is, most jargon is an illusion. It is a smoke screen. The life raft is an illusion, only the sharks are real.    Read More . . .

Email overload and the madness of digital hoarding

Deirdre Wilson – Tuesday, March 15, 2016   

The inventor of email has died. I wonder if he ever thought that email would bring out the hoarder in most of us. Email has been around for over 40 years. I remember how wondrous and clunky it seemed when I first came across it when working in a research role at a Uni back when dinosaurs roamed the earth. It was the stuff of the future. There was no hint at the time that this weird, clunky communication system would become the most seductive form of fools' gold.    Read More . . .

How we are improving access to our collective knowledge

Deirdre Wilson – Monday, March 07, 2016   

Take a moment to think what would happen if every question that is asked and answered in your organisation could be stored and searched later on. How much knowledge could you collect?    Read More . . .


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About being sensible.

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