About being sensible

Missives from Hothouse Design

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 . . .

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 . . .

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 . . .

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 . . .

The charismatic trap of solutions and how to avoid it

Deirdre Wilson – Friday, September 25, 2015   

We still start with pencil and paper for projects that have loads of complexity. Something special happens when we sketch stuff out. In our office, drawing very quickly takes over from text but the two are there, hand in hand. Patterns emerge in sketches, hidden traps are uncovered, conclusions are pushed away.   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 . . .


Basics. Know what they are. Get them right. Repeat.

About being sensible.

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