The Swiss knife complex: How a features focus approach can harm your product
The Swiss knife complex: How a features focus approach can harm your product
The Swiss Army knife is the best-known product by Victorinox.

A Swiss army knife is a great example of remarkable design. It comes in different sizes and shapes, but always with a good set of tools that can help you in a variety of situations, from scissors and screwers to knives and tooth-sticks, everything presented in a compact package easy to carry with you everywhere. The Guinness World Record holder for this type of knives integrates 87 implements and 141 functions!


When it comes to Data, are you an Orange Picker or a Juice Maker?
When it comes to Data, are you an Orange Picker or a Juice Maker?

Who wouldn’t want to be Data-driven in the era of Information Technologies? From big data to macro personal information. Those who have the data have the most valuable asset today. Data could be considered the new coal of this century, a raw material with the potential of metamorphosing into the equivalent value of diamonds and energy for tech companies, governments and basically any type of private or public organisation.

However, it is not data alone that differentiates one company, institution or individual from the rest, but their relationship with it, their philosophy and treatment. To what extent are your decisions…


Three basic things every design leader needs to know.
Three basic things every design leader needs to know.

There are as many management styles out there as different ways to collaborate and work within a team. Regardless of your title or your sector, I believe there are three fundamental things every person leading and managing a team needs to know. These are the bread and butter of your job as a leader. Three basic pillars at the core of any information gathering process that can give you the holistic view you need to make better decisions and build, maintain and support a successful and healthy team that delivers value to your users and your organisation.


The State of Technology and Design in the Post-Covid World
The State of Technology and Design in the Post-Covid World

Firstly, let’s define Product Design as a discipline and learning environment that cultivates exploration and creativity. It covers a wide area, from digital product development to innovative device design and user experience design. Always with a defined human-centred perspective on every problem to be solved and product to be built.

Secondly, let’s make a quick recap of what happened in 2020 (like if you need it). The Covid-19 pandemic disrupted our lives, infecting millions of people (including myself) and killing millions. Tough decisions were made by governments around the world while waiting for the vaccines to be developed and distributed…


The End of the Engagement era in Tech
The End of the Engagement era in Tech
Our attention span has been reduced from 12 to 9 seconds in the last decades (shorter than a Goldfish)

When was the last time you enjoyed a beautiful sunset without feeling the urge to take a picture and share it with your network? Or the last time you enjoyed a nice dinner with your partner with no other interruption than the waiter taking your order? For me, those moments have become fewer in the last decade, and I know you have noticed this too.

Our attention span has been reduced from 12 to 9 seconds in the last decades (shorter than a Goldfish), political polarisation is on the rise and our capacity to have a simple conversation and to…


The Agile Trap or How to Differentiate Planning from Building
The Agile Trap or How to Differentiate Planning from Building

“We need to be more Agile.” If you have worked in tech in the last decade you have probably heard this several times. The Agile approach can be traced back to 1957 but it wasn’t until the decade of 1970 and more importantly the year 2001 with the creation of the Agile Manifesto when it gained relevance and emerged as the preferred method in software development.

Since then, many companies have been successfully adopting this philosophy and making changes to the way we build products. …


Are we designing for children? An analysis of infantilisation from a design perspective.
Are we designing for children? An analysis of infantilisation from a design perspective.
Photo by Vanessa Bucceri on Unsplash

Back in 2006, I found myself organising piles of documents to start my first year of practice as an art teacher. I was part of a special program created by Fidel Castro himself to “Make Cuba the most cultured country in the world”. These programs included art schools from all over the country to prepare new generations of art teachers with the mission to educate the country on music, dance, theatre, visual arts and of course, politics. In a communist country with a single accepted ideology and narrative, this was always part of the deal.

But it is 2020, so…


From Purpose to Planning. It is not Rocket Science.
From Purpose to Planning. It is not Rocket Science.

Purpose, mission, principles, vision, strategy, plan. The world is full of fuzzy words, overused to the extent of losing their original meaning. However, regardless of how they are used today, my approach is not to dismiss these words but to rescue them by respecting their meaning, using them intentionally, and -maybe- writing about them. Why? I believe there is value in words and what they represent for individuals, projects and organisations. With an accurate and intentional use of these concepts, we can succeed and achieve our goals, and likewise, we can take the wrong path by ignoring or manipulating them…


Design for coherence rather than consistency.
Design for coherence rather than consistency.

If we ask any design system advocate what are the main reasons to build and maintain a design system, chances are ‘Consistency’ will come up as first or second in their list, together with the ‘A single source of truth’ point, which is pretty much saying the same, with different words. This reasoning is valid but incomplete, and it could lead to a wrong product strategy and overall poor results.

Consistency in Design is the Wrong Approach

There are 3 major problems with a ‘consistency focus’ approach:

1. It is artificial. When designing for consistency, we are not only ignoring our users but focusing on administrative and…


Design Patterns: The Stories of our Systems
Design Patterns: The Stories of our Systems

Design Patterns are some of the most over-used concepts in design today. And we all know what happens when you have some ideas all over the place. We start repeating them like parrots and applying them to everything, therefore distorting their meaning. We end up missing the point with over-complicated concepts and lots of fancy words. So here is my humble attempt to bring more clarity to what design patterns are while applying something I live for: Always keep it simple!

Keep it Simple

In my article ‘Understanding the parts of a Design System’ I touch-pointed on patterns with a more ‘neutral’ definition:

Carlos Yllobre

Product Design Lead, freethinker, illustrator, ukulele player, surfer, photographer, avid reader and occasional writer. 🇨🇺🇪🇸🇪🇺 www.carlyllo.com

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