Design Thinker : Strategist : Mom : Leader : Artist
I care deeply about holistic experiences.
I think about people and how to best tell the story of their interaction with the world. I think about how to make better products and services in the future that solve real problems. I think about how to ease people’s pain and make their lives better. I think about beauty, design and typography. I think about psychology and motivation.
I like to share my art and beautiful quotes, wisdom, poems and tips from myself and other brilliant people around crafting your personal story, philosophy, creativity, motivation, the power of our senses, the beauty of attention, life by design, user experience, leadership, intentional living and more.
I have a secret, (shh!) I am not the best story teller in the world. I know, its embarrassing to admit given the field I am in, one focused on telling stories of people’s lives and needs, desires and emotions. The reason I am not super at story telling is because I have been living such a fast paced life for so long, that I tend to get to the punchline in life very quickly in all that I do. That is not how people learn. People learn best through story where they get to form their own ideas about the conclusion and next paths themselves....read more
Presence, not Presents…? Since as long as I can remember, I’ve had a love hate relationship with gift giving. As a kid, I loved to give gifts and craved the joy it elicited in response from parents, friends, teachers alike. Often, the gifts were artwork of my own. Perhaps this is what formed my early feelings that giving was a really good way to show love. However, my expectations of gifts shifted as I aged. As an agnsty teenager, I took them for granted (sorry Mom!) and often was not as grateful for all that I was given, and all...read more
There are so many buzz words and trends in my industry. The one that irks me the most is “Mobile First” or “Accessibility First” or any cover up phrase for what really should be called “Context First.” It is hard to adjust to rapidly changing demands for technology and screen sizes when building digital experiences. As such, people try to find a “one size fits all” approach. And it doesn’t exist. People have different needs at work than they do at home and with different devices. The same...read more
Lean has gotten a bad rap in some areas of my industry (Design and Customer / User Experience). I think it is mostly due to mis-interpretation of the terms that have been assigned to it. People have interpreted the phrases: “Good Enough”, “Minimum Viable Product” and others to mean missing the mark on delivery and not being adequate. That is missing the entire point of Lean Thinking which is meant to be about reducing waste and getting to market as quickly as possible. I have written about when you can reach...read more
“To live, to err, to fall, to triumph, to re-create life out of life!” – James Joyce from a Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man This weekend, my friend’s father asked me how I “do it” being a single working mother. My first answer was: “family.” My second answer was: “I make a lot of mistakes.” “That’s ok, he shrugged, “I meant how do you have enough energy?” “Espresso,” was my joking response. The truth is, I run out of energy often. I notice...read more
I realize the contradictions of my life. How much I resist labels, yet use them to define who I am; mother, artist, friend. I’ve written about this before, we need language and labels to understand the world. We need story to weave the threads of existence together and find meaning. What’s important is not to get too attached to any one label. You might say, well everyone is a friend, etc so that is not too specific. Yes. The more specific the label we put around ourselves or others, the more we limit our box of who we are and...read more
A colleague of mine forwarded this lovely video from a few years ago about what interaction design is and the responsibility we have as designers to understand the consequences of shaping a digital obsessed world. Connecting from Microsoft Design on Vimeo. I have been thinking about this a lot lately. Devices distract the hell out of us as a race. They let us get away with being lonely. They let us eat alone, because we are connected and distracted. They let us ignore our family and friends when they are sitting right in front of us. Its not...read more
Let’s face it. Many businesses are needing to reinvent themselves faster than they are often capable of doing. In enters new methodologies: Lean, Agile, Value Proposition Design, the list goes on. Forget strategy they imply, just figure out what you need to do now with the present market direction and customer pain points and… GO! Shift! Adapt! Sort of. The truth is, even in today’s rapidly shifting market, strategy reigns King (or Queen?). Defining a target market still matters. You can change your business model, but if...read more
I made this a while ago and stumbled back on it today. It gives my view of how to bring design thinking and better user experiences to the world in various contexts. How tos of UX from Ariel...read more
Yesterday, I attended a very intensive leadership and strategy meeting at my work. Being a creative and entrepreneurial person, I was inspired and intrigued by many of the topics about the way the industry was headed. At a certain point in the day though, I began to feel discontent, uneasy, frustrated even. I tried to trace where this was coming from but could not put my finger on it. I assumed it was a certain interaction or something said. It was a great session, so why I felt overwhelmed was confusing me. In general, I could hardly go to...read more