Ti Chang: 3 Things to Consider Before I Design Anything

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“Art is like masturbation. It is selfish and introverted and done for you and you alone. Design is like sex. There is someone else involved, their needs are just as important as your own, and if everything goes right, both parties are happy in the end.”

— Colin Wright

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For any product — and I’ve worked on a wide range — the process varies depending on the scope of the project and creative freedom given to the designer. In my current genre of products, sex toys, I strongly believe in the ethos that form follows function…and emotion. The last part is one that is what I believe to be the key ingredient to what I do.

So before I design anything (meaning putting pen to paper and conjuring magical forms) this is my process: Read More

Tammie Lister: Design for Humans, Not Robots

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Before I begin this article, let me set something straight. I am not saying robots aren’t awesome — they totally are. Robots are amazing. However, beyond comic book robots, there is this discourse between humans and robots. Robots are ‘near human’. We as humans have this fascination with robots. We play with them as toys, we make them in our own image. We have even developed robots with emotional states, that mimic, that care for us. Read More

Dom Goodrum on Why Measuring Design Isn’t a Terrible Idea

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Embracing measurement puts yourself and your team out there. It openly says that we aren’t perfect and perhaps we could do our job better.

Through my experience of building the design team at Percolate, my perspective on measurement has changed. I’ve gone from thinking measurement is all about understanding the performance of a solution to measurement being a tool that can be used to improve our teams, our design process, and the business we are building.

Measuring design hasn’t come naturally to me, though. There have been many occasions where I brushed requests for measurement under the carpet. This was partly due to my natural instinct to focus on the work, and partly because I didn’t want to expose our imperfections.

As disciplines like marketing, engineering, sales, and finance have evolved at our company, I’ve been exposed to the measurement methods they use to understand their impact on our business. Because of this, I started looking more critically at how we could measure the contribution of design. Read More

Scott Belsky on Crafting The First Mile of Product

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As leaders become immersed in their products, they become more focused on the users they have and less on those they don’t.

The natural tendency to gravitate towards your best customers handicaps your ability to build and sustain increasingly inclusive products.

If you want to build a product that millions (or hundreds of millions) of people can use, you must defy this tendency to prioritize the core product at the expense of the “first mile.” Read More

Kat Holmes: Who Gets To Play?

Kat Holmes

“Inclusive Design doesn’t mean you’re designing one thing for all people. You’re designing a diversity of ways to participate so everyone has a sense of belonging.”
—Susan Goltsman, Founding Principal of MIG, Inc., co-author of Play for All Guidelines and
The Inclusive City.


Where did you love to play as a child? Maybe it was a hill near your home. Or the fort you built out of boxes and blankets. Or, like me, a tower of climbing bars rising up from the asphalt behind your school. Read More

Ti Chang on Manufacturing in China as an American Designer

Ti Chang

Ti Chang, photo by Crave

For better or worse, I was raised in the South; Georgia to be exact… I love my biscuits and gravy with a large helping of grits, and it is that Southern grit that first brought me overseas when I started my previous company, Incoqnito, and went to China alone to get my products prototyped and produced. The journey of finding factories and managing vendor relationships is a long process of hustling, fist-pounding, nail-biting, friendly drinking, karaoke-ing, and most of all, testing the limits of one’s adaptability. In addition to the language barrier, the work ethic, culture, and customs can be mind-boggling and maddening, even for someone like myself who is fluent in Mandarin. Read More

Julie Zhuo on the Lessons of Good Design

Julie ZhuoMy first design job was an internship on Microsoft OneNote. Our intrepid leader was the product founder Chris Pratley, who terrified me the way karaokeing Adele onstage while completely sober is terrifying. My goal that summer was for him to not think I was an idiot, and my strategy to achieve that was to try and be completely unmemorable in his presence. Read More

Above All Else, Authenticity: Cassidy Blackwell on Designing for the Individual

Cassidy Blackwell, by Walker & Company

Cassidy Blackwell, by Walker & Company

“Our individuality is all, all, that we have. There are those who barter it for security, those who repress it for what they believe is the betterment of the whole society, but blessed in the twinkle of the morning star is the one who nurtures it and rides it in, in grace and love and wit, from peculiar station to peculiar station along life’s bittersweet route.”
— Tom Robbins, Jitterbug Perfume


When I think of designing for people of color, my thoughts immediately go back to my college years studying architecture in St. Louis and to a project that is known as one of the greatest failures known in modern architecture. Read More