New Adventures 2019 - Josh Brewer on Demystifying Design

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Josh Brewer is a co-founder at Abstract, a really interesting online tool that is essentially GitHub for Designers. I really liked how he focussed on design being a rationale process, being able to have conversations with everyone involved not just user research but also sitting in on stakeholders meetings. He also focussed on having a multi-discipline team which I think is essential to any successful team in any industry. Here are some notes I made while listening to his talk.

  • Co-founder of Abstract, previously Twitter principal designer
  • Craigslist is designed to be the way it is on purpose. Despite other people thinking it proves design isn’t important
  • “Good design is good business” - Thomas Watson Jr 45 years ago
  • “I want to understand how these people are thinking” talking about having a seat at the table
  • Design led are outperforming by over 200%
  • Transparency
  • Accountability
  • Consensus
  • “Everyone who has a hand in it is potentially designing the experience”
  • “The more people can observe the work the more people validate the design in the organisation”
  • “temperamental “creatives”" gif of mad men
  • “As designers we have to bring rationale into our discussions”
  • “No room for irrationality”
  • “Anything that goes from nothing to something appears like magic” to stakeholders
  • Can’t see process so assume designers don’t do work
  • “Fear of showing work, afraid of being judged because I’m not done yet or someone will take it as their own”
  • Transparency about being people into the work to understand and participate
  • Need advocates from other disciplines such as engineering.
  • Building relationships with other disciplines is fundamental
  • Failure is often tied with punishment.
  • “Failure is only failure if you don’t learn from it”
  • Failure is part of the design process
  • “You learn every time you take a swing through it and you back into a brick wall”

Feel free to read the rest of my notes from New Adventures.