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Designing Time

I recently wrote about how I’ve become much better at designing my own time. Recognizing the infinite options with which to spend it, having a clearer sense of what makes me happy and fulfilled has allowed me to make the right choices to meet my greater goals. This skill is not only crucial as it [Keep Reading...]

Four Years of Independence

Exactly four years ago today — Friday, August 22, 2008 — I “left work” for the last time. It was the last day of my last full-time job, and I’ve been independently employed ever since. I choose to say “independently employed” rather than self-employed because over these four years I’ve been forced to accept that [Keep Reading...]

On Empathy and Apathy: Two Case Studies

The suffix -pathy means “feeling” or “suffering” The prefix em- means “within” or “inside” The prefix a- means “not” or “without” By definition, empathy is the opposite of apathy. Empathy is defined as “the ability to understand and share the feelings of another” — within + feeling or inside + suffering. Apathy is defined as [Keep Reading...]

Alan Alda falls victim to McAfee’s dreadful customer experience

A month ago, my mom forwarded me an article from the New York Times that I only got around to reading now (as is known to happen with forwards from Mom). Turns out she picked a good one: a forehead-slapper about acclaimed actor Alan Alda’s helluva time canceling his McAfee email monitoring: Theater of the [Keep Reading...]

The Empathy Belly at Ford Motor Company

Henry Ford famously said, “If I had asked my customers what they wanted, they would have said a faster horse.” Despite the lack of hard evidence that Ford actually uttered those words, the phrase is wielded by lots of designers and business owners who want to justify basing decisions on their instincts rather than engage [Keep Reading...]

How “When I…” Reasoning Poisons a Team

Earlier this year I had a client who hired me to redesign the first step in their 3-step process. The page was getting loads of customer complaints and the last three iterations on the design hadn’t helped. As always, I started the project by interviewing key stakeholders: the product manager, the product owner, the head [Keep Reading...]

Designing the Company, Not the Product

In April, I posted a tweet that became one of my most retweeted of all time. Designing the product is all for naught if you don’t first take the time to design the organization. — Whitney Hess (@whitneyhess) April 20, 2012 It was a single statement that was the culmination of 9 months of identity [Keep Reading...]