Hello, if you are here I imagine you just watched my talk at Config 2021. I hope you enjoyed it.
I tried my best to fit quite a few topics into a 25min talk, and I feel that many of those topics could be their own talks, articles, videos. With that in mind, I decided to create this document to share everything I was reading, following, watching during the writing of my talk.
If you want to keep the conversation going, feel free to DM or email me.
People to follow on Twitter
This list is a combination of educators, researchers, BIPOC design communities, and designers that I've been following on Twitter that is challenging and changing the design for the better.
👉🏽 Follow the twitter list here.
Some tweets that inspired me:
About Psychological safety and learning culture
Psychological safety in a speak-up culture
Fearlessness. It's the singular trait that defines every superhero. But fearlessness is not reserved for those jumping off tall buildings or battling evil villains. It's fundamental to every business organization seeking to achieve high performance. Fearless organizations are those that build capabilities to take risks and provide psychological safety for their employees.
Building a culture of learning at work
A few years ago, leaders at the Gates Foundation reached out to see if I could help them improve their culture. They already had a strong culture of performance: They hired world-class scientists and maintained excellence of execution.
I recently stumbled upon a post by Fiona Tribe, Poetry at the water cooler , where she writes, To express pro-system sentiment publicly, and anti-system sentiment privately, is not to be inauthentic, but to make a strategic choice from the limited discourses you have available to you in a certain place, at a certain time.
On this page we are going to review psychological safety and its importance for successful teams. Psychological safety is defined by Amy Edmondson as a "shared belief held by members of a team that the team is safe for interpersonal risk taking". It's not about being warm and fuzzy and sharing your feelings.
Life Cliff Notes: Let Your Workers Rebel (HBR)
Not writing about a book this time, but rather highlighting an intriguing article I read from the Harvard Business Review (HBR) from the October 2016 issue re: rebels within the organization. Not too long ago, I blogged about Rebels at Work (Kelly & Medina).
BIPOC Design History
Black Design in America: African Americans and the African Diaspora in Graphic Design, 19th Century-21st Century is the first in a series of BIPOC Centered design history courses facilitated by Polymode. The series revisits and rewrites the course of design history in a way that centers previously marginalized designers, cultural figures -particularly BIPOC and QTPOC people.
Please let me fail: failure, vulnerability and creativity
When was the last time you felt comfortably naked in front of your colleagues at work? I do everyday. From what I have learned that being able to be so is at the core of any creative process. They told you to be creative, think outside the box, step outside of your comfort zone...
The existentialism of working in tech
Google defines existentialism as, "a philosophical theory or approach which emphasizes the existence of the person as a free and responsible agent determining their own development through acts of the will." It describes existential as simply, "relating to one's existence." I've spent a large part of 2020 questioning my purpose, largely in my industry.
People who don't know anything about design aren't really aware of its ubiquity, and I suppose that's fine. I am often tempted to evangelize about the importance of design, but it sometimes seems to be that not everyone needs to understand or care about everything.
What I'd Rather Talk About When You're Talking About UX
I blame Alan Cooper. This time. In a moment of pique (or boredom, or if he's like me, procrastination) he tweeted, "There is no such things as UX Design." Please, for his sake and mine, do NOT reply. He apologized for it the next day.
Diversity and inclusion are critical in design
Camilla's message is a reflection of frustration, courage and a call to action for design leaders, practitioners, conference organizers and companies across the board. Her voice echoes many others as they struggle to find opportunities in a supportive and inclusive environment.
The case study factory
Is the formulaic approach to case studies endangering young designers' capacity for critical thinking?
Imposter syndrome isn't your fault
The characterization of imposter syndrome and burn-out as personal short-comings isn't accurate or fair. Imposter syndrome as we currently define it isn't real. Let's make it abundantly clear I disagree with how we've framed the concepts, not the feeling.
Graphic Designers Have Always Loved Minimalism. But At What Cost?
Stop me if you've heard this one before: Company X announces a new logo with a buzzword-filled press release. We've been hard at work for months in rethinking how to best represent ourselves to our customers, it reads.
When Did Design Stop Being "Multidisciplinary?"
We're republishing some of our favorite stories from the year that best encapsulate 2020. Happy reading! Around the same time every year, half-way through the Spring semester, just as the pull of Summer begins, my students begin asking variations of a similar question. My graduate students, uns
Let's Cut the Bullshit-Here's What it Really Means to Diversify Your Workplace
After my first day interning at a design studio in London one summer, I returned home on the verge of tears. I couldn't initially explain why, but I loathed the atmosphere. The thought of going to work every morning filled me with anxiety.
What Does It Mean to Decolonize Design?
"Decolonization" is a word we're increasingly hearing at design events, often being used interchangeably with "diversity." It's important to emphasize that while the terms are linked, they shouldn't be confused. Diversity is about bringing more people to the table. Decolonization is about changing t
This course will be run as a reading seminar and survey course looking into the constitution, scale, and many dimensions of the modern\colonial world-system.
Undoing the Toxic Dogmatism of Digital Design
With this portentous beginning to many a well-intentioned post, you can almost be certain that what follows will be some distillation of painfully direct life advice intended to remind people of what's important. Consider this article a really extended version of that, directed primarily at digital designers in senior and leadership roles as they are our industry's best chance to right the ship.
The Elements of Digital Ethics
I've been working for some months on this chart as a summary of the many ways digital holds potential for negative impact. Alongside the chart I've provided a brief summary of the meaning of the currently six sections and 32 elements. I am not an opponent of digital.
This Is Not Good Design
Much has been written about what makes for good design. All of it is fiercely debated by designers, who would rather find ways to exclude one another than celebrate commonality. Rather than write yet another forgettable entry into the insufferable oeuvre of This-Not-That, I thought I'd just cut to the chase and focus on the Not-That.
A practical approach to queering design
Recently, I was asked to speak to MICA students about what it means to queer design. As co-founder of Queer Design Club, I have spent a fair amount of time thinking about queer people in design; but not as much time thinking about queering design. Honestly, I find the subject intimidating.
Stop talking about your process - start having a conversation
Designers, I will start with a hard truth - no one cares about your process. Even me, a human-centered design practitioner who believes that a deep understanding of the goals, motivations, and underlying needs of our customers is a prerequisite to creating anything new, novel, or more efficient.
Design Thinking is a Rebrand for White Supremacy
For all of the progress proclaimed by evangelists, little has changed from the previous century for design today. Designers still are overwhelmingly white with most executive positions continuing to be occupied by the 36% minority of men within the industry. This demographic truth, however, reflects a more urgent issue that manifests itself in structures that reify its status quo.
What we look for when we hire designers at Intercom | Inside Intercom
We know it's hard to apply and interview for a new job. So if you're considering a design job at Intercom, we won't make it harder by forcing you to read our minds or guess about what we value. Instead, we'll tell you exactly what we look for - and why it matters to us.
Design Narratives: From TXTMob to Twitter · Design Justice
Designing is not a solitary activity. It is a part of a larger social community of discourse. -Drew Margolin People are aware that they cannot continue in the same old way, but are immobilized because they cannot imagine an alternative.
Porto's São João National Theater Offers a Lesson in Design as Public Service
The design process is always the result of a negotiation. Design for and from a theater is no exception, reaching the public in the form of posters, booklets and pressbooks, newspapers, postcards and a variety of digital formats on social media. Yet the end result-the finished work-obscures that pro
Creative Director and Teacher Forest Young on Designing a More Inclusive Future
Forest Young's career has spanned an impressive range of disciplines and contexts. He was recently named Wolff Olins's first Global Chief Creative Officer, has received the industry's highest design accolades (Gold Design Lion at Cannes, the Art Directors Club Black Cube) and is an MFA Senior Critic
So You Want to Talk About Race
Amit, I think I understand what you are saying. I think, though, that the people who need the statistical piece are, quite frankly, looking for ways tAmit, I think I understand what you are saying. I think, though, that the people who need the statistical piece are, quite frankly, looking for ways to disengage and undermine the author's points.
This is one of those books where you sit there nodding and thinking, "he's got it!". Or you're going to be utterly puzzled by it. It's going to depend on how your brain works.
As a professor of interior design, this book has dramatically reshaped my thinking in terms of what defines the concept of Universal Design in the context of usable space. A must-read for everyone, but in particular for those of us in facets of design in context of the built environment.
I really liked this book. More like a 4.5 for me. Adam Grant made this book clear, enjoyable, interesting and engaging. I liked he sprinkled a lot of personal stories and interesting studies into it. Also laughed out loud at some parts. Highly recommend.
The Power of Vulnerability
Yes, this would be it. I want to give it 10 stars! It's got real life stories about herself and her research. It's witty, funny, serious, and inspirinYes, this would be it. I want to give it 10 stars! It's got real life stories about herself and her research.
Beyond Inclusion, Beyond Empowerment
Beyond Inclusion, Beyond Empowerment book. Read 5 reviews from the world's largest community for readers. Beyond Inclusion, Beyond Empowerment, by Letici...
Book - Kat Holmes
Sometimes designed objects reject their users: a computer mouse that doesn't work for left-handed people, for example, or a touchscreen payment system that only works for people who read English phrases, have 20/20 vision, and use a credit card. Something as simple as color choices can render a product unusable for millions.
An exploration of how design might be led by marginalized communities, dismantle structural inequality, and advance collective liberation and ecological survival. What is the relationship between design, power, and social justice? "Design justice" is an approach to design that is led by marginalized communities and that aims explicitly to challenge, rather than reproduce, structural inequalities.
The Longing for Less
New York Times Book Review Editor's Choice"More than just a story of an abiding cultural preoccupation, The Longing For Less peels back the commodified husk of minimalism to reveal something surprising and thoroughly alive." -Jenny Odell, author of How to Do Nothing "Less is more": Everywhere we hear the mantra.
The Surprising Power of Liberating Structures: Simple Rules to Unleash A Culture of Innovation
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