Observations and thoughts at the intersection of Design, IT, Psychology, and Business.

Holding up the lifts

The lifts of the cruise ship I was on earlier this year were very slow when responding to calls. I wondered if it was the software? Have they deliberately made the lifts less than optimally responsive to hails so as to encourage passengers to use the stairs instead?...

Good design in plain sight

Good design can often be hidden in plain sight. Especially in situations where in order for the design to work, it must not call attention to itself. At the ticketing hall in Milan central train station, the schedule display monitors are beautifully mounted onto twin...

Group size matters

In a certain group size (a small tour group, neighbours in a small apartment block, and the people sitting near us in a small classroom) we bond and become a familial group, looking out for each other. Beyond a certain groups size, however, we retreat within our own...

False certainties

It is a part of our makeup to avoid discomfort. A lot of us, if not most of us, prefer to cling to the made-up certainty of a belief or an aspirational goal, than to embrace the scary uncertainties of reality. False certainties can seem harmless when taken at face...

Fortress Learning: Learn and Lend

Like many businesses, Fortress Learning has a referral fee mechanism to reward referrals. The difference is that they provide the option to donate this referral fee to Kiva as part of their corporate giving programme. Owners Chris Gribble and Bryan West made this...

Content marketing lessons

Check out Steve Rayson's 10 Content Marketing Lessons From Social Media Examiner. The key thing that resonated with me was RESPECT. Write for people; not search engines! Image via Shutterstock. Respect Your Audience In an interview back in 2011 Mike Stelzner was asked...

Designing for motivation

We can imbue greater intrinsic motivation into work by activating the three aspects of Autonomy, Mastery and Purpose in the work design. (Definitions below are from LifeHacker. I have added questions to expand upon each.) Autonomy: Our desire to direct our own lives....

Evil Eights

Life is too short to put up with toxic people. They sap our energy, drain our passion, and poison our projects. These sociopaths and narcissists create division and drive the good people away from our organisations. Dr Phil's book Life Code - New rules for the real...

Failure: two views

Here’s my paraphrase of a portion from Oliver Burkeman's The Antidote where he described two ways of looking at failure: The way we look at failure is dependant on what we believe about our talent and ability. If we see these as fixed or innate to who we are, we are...

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