Designer + Entrepreneur

Who doesn’t love dunking on personas? After all, it’s one of the most misused and misunderstood design frameworks out there. Alan Cooper is credited as the father of the user persona — Kathy being the first in 1983. Rather than keeping this a secret weapon, Alan decided to share his framework in his infamous book, The Inmates Are Running the Asylum.

Personas were so simple, clear, and powerful that it seemed only a matter of time before other practitioners discovered it for themselves. — Alan Cooper

Alan Cooper’s tweet about where personas are discovered.

Personas aren’t pulled out of thin air, they are discovered through qualitative research methods such as customer interviews. It’s a framework to drive empathy and a greater specificity than just ‘the user’. …

At the beginning of the end

As the last king of Rome lay siege to Ardea, his sons grew weary of the inaction on the battlefield and left for a surprise visit to their home. On their way home, they stopped in Collatia received by the hospitable Lucretia, wife of Collatinus. Lucretia’s beauty sparked a lust in Sextus Tarquinius (the king’s youngest son), eye he returned to claim in the middle of night, sword drawn, coercing her to yield to his sexual demands. Lucretia soon took her own life soon thereafter, after confessing to what transpired in a written message to her husband and her father.

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Tarquinius and Lucretia (1610) by Rubens in the Hermitage Musuem

A revolt followed which brought an end to the kingship of Lucius Tarquinius Superbus and marked the beginning of the Roman Republic. …

We’re excited to launch our third major update to the SQRL app. It includes the introduction of gratitude journaling, an updated dashboard — including a set of daily milestones that encourage you to stay physically active and the ability to filter your dashboard.

It’s now available for free in the App Store: just search for “SQRL” or install it from this link for iOS / Android.

How we got here

On November 21st, 2018 after 6 months of prototyping, testing, building and learning we launched the first app that allowed you to connect the steps you take each day to a savings habit. …


Over a year ago I started a little project. Within a matter of days that concept became a prototype and then after weeks of user testing and iteration the prototype became an app. And now, after 6 months of development and testing that app is slowly transforming into a business — or so I hope.

Operating as a sole founder / designer of a startup is full of exciting challenges and fraught with temptations to misuse the limited time of a sole founder toggling between working in versus on the business. …

This was written more for myself than anyone else. We had a plan, a really good one. The bag was packed and in the car 2 weeks in advance. I tore down the standard shelves in the house and custom fabricated more meaningful configurations in their place to optimize our storage space. I even had the baby seat docked in one car and the latch base in the other a month ahead of time. The plan was working, until it was not on Saturday, August 12th.

Lesson 1: The outcome of the plan doesn’t matter.

After my wife had endured 24 hours of failed labor inductions, we grudgingly decided to opt for a ‘less-than-natural’ cesarian birth. The pain wasn’t worth it for the pipe dream of a vaginal delivery and frankly, we were both ready to see our baby boy. …

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The #IoT (Internet of Things)-driven industrial design & user experience sandwich: why it’s all the rage and how to make it.

The number of IoT (Internet of Things)-connected devices will hit 38.5 billion in 2020, up from 13.4 billion in 2015: a rise of over 285%.” Juniper Research.

The age of IoT (Internet of Things) has made it a necessity to synchronize software and hardware product development to create a seamlessly integrated hardware/software experiences. The user experience agile process and the industrial design waterfall approach couldn’t be more different in nature. Establishing a common ground and synchronizing the two development cycles is something the industry is still figuring out.

In the past, I have been fortunate enough to help introduce user experience to a hardware product company and now, I work on developing industrial design capabilities in a software company. …

In my former life I was a short-lived Automotive Designer turned Industrial Designer. My place of employment at the time turned out to be the most trying and defining experience of my professional life. Those dog days helped my accept and get comfortable with who I am professionally today. Luckily, I didn’t do this alone, I had the help of a fantastic mentor.

This experience really became a measuring stick of excellence in work ethic, management, and work culture. I was the first hire of a design group that would later be made up of an international dream team of researchers, designers, and managers. Every other team member cast a big shadow and for the first time in my life, I felt like the youngest sibling of a family. Every other team member was senior to me and each had a swagger to them that no matter how hard I tried, I could not match. …

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