Some principles for blogging

I’ve been thinking about my own approach to blogging, and making this sharable. These are some good principles to start with.

Work fast and finish things

Blog posts that take months to finish rarely work. Try not to over analyse. Proof reading 2 or 3 times is a good cut-off. Continue reading…

Vertical lines and loose boundaries

A cricket boundary line.

A cricket boundary line.

…it’s surprising how frequently policymakers can be found solving the wrong problem — a superficial one, a symptom rather than a cause — or a problem perceived in one way by the outside world but totally differently by those actually experiencing it — Steve Hilton, More Human

I spent a lot of time thinking about the relationship between policy, service delivery and design when working in government. Continue reading…

Designing better organisations: Why internal user experience matters to delivering better services

I see very few organisations that think enough about the experience of their staff (especially when it comes to technology). If your internal user experience is broken then, as an organisation, you probably don’t care enough about user experience (full stop). Continue reading…

Sticks in the ground

Last year I often walked past this skyscraper being built by Blackfriars bridge in London. A few times I stopped to take a photograph of the progress of the building work.

One Blackfriers, London

Like most of the modern London skyline it doesn’t pay much attention to anything around it. Continue reading…

hub by Premier Inn. Is it digital?

This is a live blog I first published as a Twitter thread last night. I’ve made some small additions to the original version.

I stayed at a new hub by Premier Inn in London last night. It’s interesting to see established companies looking at new business models. Continue reading…

Anxiety labels and emotional needs

Golconda by Magritte

Golconda by Belgian surrealist artist René Magritte

I have a print of the painting Golconda by Belgian surrealist artist René Magritte (1898 – 1967) framed on my bedroom wall at home.

The painting is composed of men, nearly identical to each other, all dressed in bowler hats and floating in the air. Continue reading…

Mark making and broad strokes (learning to throw out your toolbox)

White Cross, Lancaster

White Cross, home to Lancaster School of Art and Design in 1997 (now relocated to Lancaster & Morecambe College)

20 years ago (in September 1997) I went to my local art college to enrol on a one year art and design foundation course. In the UK this is still the route many designers take from school to university at the start of their careers. Continue reading…

Art is emotive

Art is everything that you don’t have to do – Brian Eno

We all find meaning in life through art and how things make us feel.

I can’t always articulate why art makes sense of some of the things in my life, but it does. It’s why I hang pictures on the wall of my house. Continue reading…

Repainting the road markings

An updated story from my Refresh Edinburgh talk in 2012.

Have you ever noticed how road markings, the yellow and white lines painted on the ground, fade and crack over time? They end up looking messy and slowly deteriorate until they’re painted again. Continue reading…

Earning your optimism

I finished most of my conference talks this year with a Bruce Springsteen quote:

You earn the extreme moments of optimism from the daily struggles we all fight our way through.

Design is hard. Change is hard. Life is (sometimes) hard.

Keep going. Continue reading…