Design Rule #003—Go With the Flow

Whenever you start designing something interactive (and by my definition, a ball is interactive), you should start by designing a flowchart. Especially if you’re building an IVR system. I just spent a frustrating 12 minutes […]

Design Rule #002—Good Enough Isn’t Really Good Enough

Several years ago, one of my geek friends introduced me to the concept of “good enough” when designing software and hardware. This friend’s creations are always interesting, innovative, and reliable. Some of her code is […]

Design Problem Debugging Rule #001: Turn it Upside Down

I’m not expecting this topic to be as frequently covered as my Innovation Inspiration (I²) series, because I have found far fewer good techniques. However, this trick is so fundamental—yet often overlooked—that it deserves the […]

Book Review—The CIA’s Greatest Covert Operation

I just finished reading The CIA’s Greatest Covert Operation: Inside the Daring Mission to Recover a Nuclear-armed Soviet Sub. I found it on the new non-fiction rack at the library, and although I had followed the evolving […]

I Learned About Design From That: Locked Myself Out of the Office

“Simplicate. Then add lightness.” —Colin Chapman “Everything should be made as simple as it can be, but no simpler.” –Einstein (paraphrased) Inspiration and credit for the title goes to Flying magazine and its I Learned […]

Innovation Inspiration #005—Share Incomplete Work

It’s OK to be a perfectionist. But it’s not OK to not share your work until it’s perfect. The point to sharing in-progress work early is to obtain input, inspiration, and innovation that will make […]

Seeking Innovation from Copying

I set out to write a post about stagnant design and innovation, tying my post about the shocking lightswitch and dumb outlet tester and the digital caliper design unchanged from 1982 to speculation and some insight on […]

Stealth Trade Shows

Whateverwhenever. (This was going to be the title for this post, but then I realized that topic deserves its own story. Maybe later this weekend…) How much do you care about your customers’ or prospective […]

Inspiration Really Does Come From Bright Sparks

One never sets out to touch live AC wiring on purpose (well, there are a few exceptions), but it does happen accidentally, and when you survive, you’re supposed to learn something. But I didn’t realize […]

How to make scheduling an appointment confusing

I needed to make an appointment with a government agency that gives me a choice of three different days and locations. The process seemed more straight-forward and much simpler than I expected, until I realized […]