Posts in category: Craftsmanship

Human- vs machine-centric content design

Human- vs machine-centric content design

Designers generally design for humans. Human-centric design makes sense as the consumers/users are humans. There are key principles and best practices governing structure, content, and presentation. These are factors that affect a design’s accessibility, usability and...
What we pay attention to

What we pay attention to

I posted this aphorism on my Facebook feed a while ago which sparked a discussion with a friend. The following is a summary of the clarity that resulted from that discussion. Thanks Douglas! The thoughts and feelings we pay attention to are the thought and feelings we...
Seeing clearly and mastery

Seeing clearly and mastery

Many of us would have seen this “Game Changers” ad for the Australian government’s Department of Finance by now. It still surprises me that in spite of our intense exposure to slickly-produced media, none of the decision makers noticed the awkwardness of this...
Details details details

Details details details

This is one of the monitors in a local McDonald’s. Do you notice anything odd about the display? It has been like this since I first came here over 5 years ago. The vertical white line pans left and right endlessly. Order numbers appear behind the words...
Five self-awareness lessons from the 2016 US elections

Five self-awareness lessons from the 2016 US elections

Judge others by their actions, not their words. A candidate can say anything they want before the election, then change their mind after. They can even do a completely reversal, committing to the opposite with as much conviction as the prior position. Promises can be...
A body of worth

A body of worth

Create a body of work to demonstrate your abilities and commitment to your craft. Two examples come to mind: This guy who makes a new spoon every day. This guy who designs a movie poster every day. No amount of fancy marketing words can come close to the powerful...
$500 census server

$500 census server

QUT students design a $500 cloud-based census server four times better than IBM’s $9 million system. This article about two university students creating a system over a weekend that “could handle nearly 40 times as many census submissions per second” made a...
Talent-Belief gap

Talent-Belief gap

Self-efficacy is the belief that we are able to respond effectively or successfully to a given situation. The Talent-Belief gap describes how well our self-belief (efficacy) tallies with our actual talents and abilities. The presence of a Talent-Belief gap means we...
The unemployable skillset

The unemployable skillset

Traditional employment methodologies and processes seem to be increasingly falling behind the reality of work. The jobs that are most safe going forward naturally require skills referred to as the “three bottlenecks to automation:” creativity, social intelligence, and...
Anxiety blocks creativity

Anxiety blocks creativity

“…feelings of anxiety stimulate your limbic system, causing your brain to release stress hormones. The limbic system stops communicating with the cerebral cortex, the part of your brain responsible for creativity. Your heart pounds, you stop being able to...
Directly applied learning

Directly applied learning

This is a learning approach I have found useful: to learn theory/techniques from a book and apply that learning immediately to an actual situation. This is a screengrab of me reading Carmen Simon’s Impossible to Ignore on left window (Kindle), pulling out key concepts...

If you truly feared failure…

This is an interesting reframe: “People who think they fear failure have got it wrong. They really fear success. If you truly feared failure, you’d be very successful.” — Barbara Sher in I Could Do Anything If I Only Knew What it Was. The fear...
Mechanistic Processes vs Guiding Principles

Mechanistic Processes vs Guiding Principles

Mechanistic Processes Processes solve problems by applying predefined reactions/steps to anticipated challenges. A person running the process needs only to know when to execute which step. A typical business process is necessarily rules-based and mechanistic: Do this,...
Pragmatism an undervalued strength

Pragmatism an undervalued strength

Pragmatism seems to be somewhat undervalued these days. And yet it is a powerful antidote to the plethora of fads and trends promising easy fixes and quick answers to every aspect of our existence: how we eat, work, think, feel and play. At the end of the day, surely...
Watering sustainable behaviour change

Watering sustainable behaviour change

Trying to change behaviour with brute force, punitive means is like watering a sandy hydrophobic garden bed with large buckets of water. On the face of it, the bed looks watered. But in reality the bulk of the water simply runs off the top of the bed. There is little...
Optimal anxiety

Optimal anxiety

I found this in one of my notebooks recently. Basically, a level of anxiety is needed for us to perform at our best. Hence “Optimal Anxiety.” Too much comfort will keep us stuck. Too much anxiety — ie abject terror — will trigger our fight or flight...
How to become more innovative

How to become more innovative

You want to be a doctor? You go to medical school. You spend the specified amount of time and money. And you become a doctor. It is a straightforward path. You want to be innovative? That route is nowhere near as direct or clear. No matter how attractively packaged...
Scanners and divers

Scanners and divers

“Our culture respects specialists. People aren’t called ‘Renaissance men’ any more; they’re called ‘dilettantes’ or ‘jack of all trade,’”  — Barbara Sher in I Could Do Anything If I Only Knew What it Was. This is amply demonstrated in typical job ads. The...
Doing matters

Doing matters

The same applies to business ideas and inventions. If we don’t get off our backsides and do something, our brilliant idea is...
Page 1 of 912345...Last »