Mental health is a funny thing, isn’t it? It’s something everyone knows is important yet few seem to really prioritise.
A mental issue isn’t quite like a physical one. If we break our arm, we rush to a doctor who will quickly put us in a cast and tell us to avoid exercise for a while. Mental health, however, is invisible. It takes self-awareness (or someone close to you) to identify something might be wrong, and courage to seek help. Then, once you’ve sought help, active work to manage and overcome it.
There are endless contributing factors to mental health and one can’t sustain a productive life by sheltering from all of the things that may negatively impact it. That said, we know there to be certain things that put disproportionate pressure on our mental wellbeing, yet we’ve been convinced bit by bit to integrate them deeper into our lives. …
I’ve spent a good amount of time travelling this year, which means a lot of time in airports and train stations; two businesses that seem to love asking me to rate my most recent bathroom visit on a scale of red face to green face.
My first encounter with one of these feedback stations was during a project I did with one of Australia’s busiest airports. The project deliverable was Customer Experience strategy to inform some upgrades the business was planning for an upgrade to one of their terminals and the digital infrastructure surrounding it.
During one of my team’s initial tours of the airport, I stopped to use the bathroom and noticed a customer satisfaction survey attached to the wall near the exit. When I rejoined the group, I asked how the data captured from the survey was being used and whether it had any impact on the design of the bathrooms planned in the upgrade. …
A constraint, by definition, is a limitation or restriction on something. A water restriction is a constraint on agricultural production, as is the limited number of hours in a day on productivity. The general energy when someone utters the word “constraint” immediately shifts to crisis mode, as something has to have gone wrong somewhere along the way for a constraint to exist.
Constraints aren’t a negative thing, though. On the contrary, constraints are something to embrace. Constraints are the foundation for innovation.
Broadly speaking, there are two types of constraints:
Let’s face it, we live in a fast-paced and constantly evolving on-demand economy driven by customer needs and preferences. This has spurred plenty of exciting innovation, though has also caused many businesses to get left behind. With barriers to competition and switching costs lower than ever, the fight for customers is often seen as a race to the bottom.
The good news is, it doesn’t have to be this way.
There are countless examples of industries that have undergone change with the first mover in the space not necessarily holding the most significant market share. The one commonality, however, is that the highest performers in each industry are also the most focused on design. …
Design Thinking is one of the most effective frameworks for driving innovation within organisations, though is still largely misunderstood. At its core, Design Thinking is simply a process for identifying problems and solving them iteratively through considered experimentation. It is definitely not reserved for designers — anyone can and should use it to drive positive impact.
The fundamental goal of Design Thinking is to help organisations think about customers as real people and create products and services that directly solve their problems. The methodology facilitates this way of thinking by providing a simple framework for surfacing customer problems and solving them through iterative prototyping and testing. …
The concept of empathy has found its way into the vocabulary of just about every business mainly due to the pressures that a changing consumer landscape and the startup ecosystem have put on traditional business models. It has become imperative to the success and in some instances survival of a business to understand the nuances of its customers and their needs.
So, what does understanding your customers really even mean? If you build it, won’t they just come?
In short: it’s complicated; and perhaps, though they probably won’t stay.
To understand your customers, it takes empathy, and to understand empathy, it’s a little more complicated. Most people, mainly thanks to the dictionary, think of empathy as “having the ability to understand another person’s feelings”. This is fair — emotions are an important consideration — but this doesn’t quite get to the core of what you need to understand as a designer. My favourite definition of empathy comes from the internet’s most trusted source…