Insights

Wunderkammer #90

June 20, 2019

We’re thinking about

Hype tech, scaling product teams, feedback culture, and Design Systems


A design system built for humans

6 min | by PH

We’ve heard podcasts about design systems, we’ve seen so many blogs, books, and articles on them, yet we haven’t seen enough that addresses the human aspects of it – the way it shapes your organization or its outcomes.

We started gathering insights from thought leaders as well as the experiences at Idean and Adobe, and what we heard was too good not to share.

Hack the Design System is about the human aspects, but it also talks about the challenges around buy-in, people and resources, communication and maintenance.

The book is filled with tangible perspectives and recommendations around building design systems, with industry case stories and real-world challenges.

Get it here

Why hype technology is killing innovation

4 mins | Source: Medium | Shared by Charley

The pressure of constant innovation can sometimes lead to a reliance on the latest technology being the saviour. How many times have we heard that AI, Blockchain, 3D printing etc is going to change everything?

Stop hunting unicords

What Monzo learned from scaling its lending team

14 mins | Source: Mind the Product | By Ben

Growing any product team can raise a few questions. How do you set objectives? How do you organise your team and all align on the same vision? This article doesn’t cut any corners explaining why, how and what Monzo did to scale their lending team. If you want detail, here’s where you’ll find it.

Motivate your team

Service Design’s third phase

12 mins | Source: Jeremy Walker | Shared by Nick

It’s always interesting to me how the practice of design evolves and develops over time. Great article from Chris Downs of Normally on the maturity of service design, since its inception roughly 20 years ago.

The ages of service design

How do you turn around the culture of a 130,000-person company?

10 mins | Source: Quartz at Work | Shared by Jess L

Here’s a story we should all read about the kind of leader who wants to shorten the stage between him and his organisation, who plays well with others, choosing to collaborate with Microsoft’s traditional rivals to make things better for their customers.

It’s a leadership strategy that’s paying off as the share price has tripled in value since Satya Nadella took office. Here’s hoping for more of these kinds of leaders.

Ask Satya Nadella

Why feedback rarely does what it’s meant to

25 mins | Source: Harvard Business Review | Shared by Kayleigh

I’ve worked in two places with strong feedback cultures (including Idean UK where I am now). Sometimes it works and sometimes it doesn’t. And this article dives into just this.

It’s great when someone who knows us well, tells us what they experience and what they feel when they see us doing something that works. I believe this approach also works for things we don’t do well. How people usually deliver feedback goes against how the world works… for the most part we’re all making it up as we go along. There’s no “way” of doing things. Unless you’re a pilot or a surgeon - and that’s where the checklists come in!

Help your colleagues grow

Why you need to design your design culture

5 mins | Source: Lauren Currie, Adobe | Shared by Jess R

When creating good design we make great effort to be unique and meet specific customers’ needs. The same approach should be considered when we think about design culture in our organisations. Ditch the cookie cutter, stop copying from other companies and choose what’s best for yours.

Create your own

Designer as writer

5 mins | Source: Stas Aki | Shared by Ben

An interesting thought piece on what we as designers can learn from the principles of good writing: from how to design a killer first draft to avoiding design clichés. It’s also littered with killer quotes from spicy boy George Orwell, “What is above all needed is to let the meaning choose the word, and not the other way about.”

How to read design

What we’ve been up to

Our own Payal Wadhwa has shaken up two stages in two weeks - first at #MuseumNext in London and then at #ExperienceFighters in Madrid 🚀

In London, we hosted our inaugural Makers Meetup - watch this space for some takeaways from the night!

2019 marks Idean’s 20th time around the sun, and we’ll be celebrating throughout the summer, from Palo Alto to Helsinki. San Francisco Design Week is the first stop: we’re hosting a panel discussion on Ethics of Design over the last 20 years. If you’re in Bay area, check it out!

The book we published back in January, Long Live Design Thinking, has been translated to Spanish and French and is free to download in all three languages. 😎

As ever, we’ve been churning out awesome blogs

Chris Moisan explained why the term MVP is overused, misused and abused - and how to claim it back.

Diana Cabezas shared our experience on seamless collaboration between Designers & Developers.

Jess Leitch wrote about making an impact through memorable customer experiences.

And Jen Williams gave advice on running wildly successful workshops when you’re an introvert. Can relate.

And delivering some fantastic work

We’ve partnered with the biggest energy brand in the UK to help them with an enhanced design governance, a measurably improved digital experience for millions of customers, plus savings for the business of up to £10 million directly attributed to our work. 😱

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