Facebook seems to have violated our trust in 3 ways: 1.) it has violated its own data usage terms 2.) it has allowed a 3rd party to use illegally obtained data to profile and target messages, and 3.) it has not placed any editorial oversight on messages designed to manipulate people.

3 ways Facebook can work to restore my trust:

  1. ) Clarify and honor their own data terms
  2. ) Protect my data so that it can not be used illegally
  3. ) Place clear editorial rules and warnings on messages designed to manipulate

To accomplish #3 Facebook needs to draw a…


IxDA Award Categories Inspire

I love the categories of awards from the IxDA and the inherent ideology and values that they promote and reward — a real emphasis on people and making our shared human experience better.

IxDA Award Categories

“Connecting: Facilitating communication between people and communities”

“Disrupting: Re-imagining completely an existing product or service by creating new behaviors, usages or markets”

“Empowering: Helping people to do things they otherwise couldn’t do”

“Engaging: Capturing attention, creating delight and delivering meaning”

“Expressing: Enabling self expression and/or creativity”

“Optimizing: Making daily activities more efficient”

I’d encourage you to spend some time reviewing the work that is…


Channeling your (musical) design spirit

Have you ever endeavored to make music?

Were you a chair in a symphony? Playing a small role in a large composition. Studying the sheet music — melody, harmony, rhythm, tone, form, tempo and dynamics. Waiting with anticipation for your moment. Playing your part with flawless execution. Breathing a sigh of relief that the years of theory, memorization, and finger numbing practice allowed you to contribute to this well articulated and precise musical idea, just as the composer and conductor divined it.

Or were you a ‘player’ in a jazz band. Working within loosely defined song structures. Improvising your ass…


Applying Lisa Fitzhugh’s Ideas on Relational Intelligence to Design

I recently received an email from an old friend, Lisa Fitzhugh, with a link to an article she had just penned on ‘Relational Intelligence’ for the publication Creative Ground. It is a powerful and poignant article and I’d strongly encourage you to read the entire article here.

Lisa makes the point that we have to “refine our relational intelligence, an intelligence held in the body as much as it’s held in the brain … to resolve the ever expanding scope of conflict, division and polarity that is consuming our institutions, our communities and our globe.”

As a practitioner and teacher…


The ultimate expression of tough love.

In Tough Love Part 1, I wrote that I would like to see brands not just make things people love, but to practice TOUGH LOVE. That is, to take and hold a firm position on what people should love based on a position of enlightened and mutually aligned interests (what is good for all, is good for us, too).

This week, REI gave us a great example of tough love. They didn’t give us what we love (access to their stores on a busy shopping day with heavily discounted products), but that which is in our best interests (a chance…


Why Making Products People Love Isn’t Enough

I recently attended a VCU Brandcenter Friday Forum talk where Michael Fanuele, Chief Creative Officer at General Mills gave an impressive talk about how General Mills is evolving as a brand and company. In the talk, he shared information about General Mills’ purpose statement and how it guides and will continue to guide corporate decision-making.

The statement reads:

“We serve the world by making food people love.” https://www.generalmills.com/en/Company/purpose

It is a simple and elegant statement. It positions General Mills as service leaders (we serve), with a global mindset (the world), an own-able proposition (making food), for good (food people love).


Using It To Your Advantage

Bias is an inclination of temperament or outlook to present or hold a partial perspective, often accompanied by a refusal to consider the possible merits of alternative points of view. Biased means one-sided, lacking a neutral viewpoint, not having an open mind. Bias can come in many forms and is often considered to be synonymous with prejudice or bigotry (1).

All designers have bias, all designs have bias, and all consumers of design have bias.

So, how can you accept and embrace bias and use it to your advantage in design?

Welcome alternative perspectives. How…


And, The Design of Character

When a person chooses to express themselves through design, not only are we left with the concrete artifact of their creation, but we can also begin to abstract their level of design awareness , their intention, and the expected outcome of their design. Why did they (designer) do that, for what purpose, and to what end?

As we start to look at those things around us that have been consciously designed we realize that there is an inherent ideology, morality and value system that is “baked” into design, that can offer a window into the…

Andrew LeVasseur

Experience Design Chair & Professor, VCU Brandcenter

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