About being sensible

Missives from Hothouse Design

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 . . .

How to manage interruptions in an open plan office

Deirdre Wilson – Tuesday, March 01, 2016   

I jumped out of my seat to go and ask a colleague for help but stopped as soon as I stood up to check the time. Five before the hour - not an appropriate time for an interruption. So I made a note for myself, did something else for a few minutes then sorted out my problem with my colleague - on the hour.    Read More . . .

Running a creative business - tenure vs job-hoppers

Deirdre Wilson – Wednesday, February 17, 2016   

When did it become a 'thing' that you are expected to change jobs every two years? Recently I have had clients move on to new jobs because they have been in their current role for two years - that was the explanation that was offered up which just made me feel as if I had been on another planet for the past few years. My niece told me that a recruiter was concerned for her job prospects because she had spent four years in one role. Apparently this meant she would now be pigeon-holed. What utter bunkum - if you get pigeon-holed as a result of four years of employment then doing a university degree becomes a huge risk.    Read More . . .

Running a creative business - finding my tribe

Deirdre Wilson – Wednesday, January 13, 2016   

This is the first of a series of occasional posts about what happens in creative businesses - small creative businesses. But, I have to clarify already, small is a whole different definition when it comes to creative businesses. There are four and a half people and one kelpie in our business which makes us bigger than small in our industry but teeny, tiny in other industries.   Read More . . .

Colour coding maps in a submarine

Deirdre Wilson – Friday, October 09, 2015   

If you explain something using familiar words, terms and expressions then the person you are explaining to is more likely to understand what you are explaining. Seems obvious. The same holds true with visual explanations. If you colour code then you get faster understanding: red for go, green for stop. Hmm, that doesn't seem right.    Read More . . .

Throwing down the guantlet with a guarantee

Deirdre Wilson – Friday, September 04, 2015   

We are very good at producing public transport timetables. In fact, we think we are the best at it - so much so that we are now guaranteeing our level of accuracy. Our 100% accuracy guarantee is: If we don't get it right on the first draft, all author's corrections are on us.    Read More . . .


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About being sensible.

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