It was 8:30 am when Lena opened her eyes. …

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Vasa Museum

While in Stockholm, I visited the Vasa Museum. Gorgeous museum, absolutely packed with people to see the amazing ship… that sank after sailing 1500 meters.When …

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Image from Advertising Museum in Tokyo

I like to read printed copies. And I am one of those who pay for online subscriptions, from newspapers to music services. I even subscribe to a printed version of a magazine. …

Sustainability. As the word is used everywhere, listed in every design, architecture, food, farming, clothing, and ‘you name it’ related post, there is a risk of overuse, with people slowly getting tired or desensitizing — and the term consequently losing its intended effect.

So let me start again,what do we mean when we use it? What can (not do) we understand when we read or hear about

S U S T A I N A B I L I T Y?

Let’s break it apart…and start with sustain. Sustain might be not the best word for what we want to achieve when we use the term… because sustain can mean something that afflicts you, as when used in an example of suffering an injury (sustained injuries or sustained trauma); at the same time, it can mean something that gives support and encouragement, and last, but not least, sustain…

I have been recently challenged by a colleague about the concept of ‘Human-Centred Design’ (HCD). She wrote: ‘I’ve never heard about inhuman-centred design’. It made me smile when I heard it, because made me realise that most people, when they hear about HCD, they might not have the perspective of the ‘everything-else-centred design’.

We might underestimate how much of everything-else businesses and design have focused in the past many years. So in my reply, I started with what might be the most obvious. There’s a lot of money-centred design (the tight seats in planes, as one example), machine-centred design (streets without pavements, meaning, whole cities planned for people inside a machine), selling-centred design, which would include most of the advertising industry. …

As I am in my early 40s, I have been asked this question a lot when I met companies, at interviews, with business oriented friends. My answer has been the same throughout the years:

For some, this answer comes as a shock, as the answer is not to become the xyz, or the something of something. Consequently the following question is always the same: What do you mean by this?

Since I started working at the age of 17, at the same time I entered university, I have been part of a large variety of work environments. Many of the people with whom I worked throughout the years are still some of my best friends, people with whom not only I worked, but also learned from each other, had fun, grew together. I remember sitting in meetings where we all discussed whichever project we had at the moment; we all had a say, talked about problems, possibilities and challenges while also having a laugh. …

Without a clear (and company owned) strategy, there’s no innovation.

Based on a chosen strategy, the front-runners will get to know the other side.

They go step-by-step and they make way for future and varied tactics and approaches. This early knowledge will impact how the others will tackle and adapt the strategy.

The ‘user’ knowledge acquired through research and user-centred processes is obsolete without a clear goal.

Data without a purpose is ‘lost’ data. Before going out and learning about your ‘users’, ‘audience’, ‘consumers’, companies should ask themselves what they want to do with the knowledge; why do they want to know about this or that?

Everyone is working for the same goal.

Companies need to own their innovation processes. Companies hire consultancies to ‘show them the light’. However these same companies need to go from the perspective of the object (externally run workshop, short project, sprint) to the perspective of the culture. In other words, allowing space for the object to become a regular process that is alive, evolving and owned by the company. …

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Recently, watching a medical documentary, I learned about a fascinating case. There was an experienced cardiologist who got baffled when a patient suggested having his condition solved as an engineering problem. This cardiologist was humble to listen and decided to work together with his patient (who was an engineer and knew nothing of medicine) to solve this patient condition. …

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Not only a product, but an experience brought to life based on the expertise and dedication of each person in the whole organisation.

We all know the value of putting people first; it is like cooking someone their favourite meal. …


Isabel Froes

Curious. Playful. Storyteller - because we are not just the sum of bullet points.

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