UXDS_DC: March 2018 Recap

Once a month or so, your engaging host (me) will choose an article or video for review and discussion. To kick off the March 2018 User Experience Design Salon (UXDS_DC) we discussed https://www.netflix.com/title/80057883 > Episode 8 Ilse Crawford: Interior Design.

The first session of the User Experience Design Salon was a success!

What seemed to resonate as a general theme was how silent good design is — how it’s all around us and when it’s good you don’t notice it. A number of us found this quite inspirational as a professional goal in their own work. (I know I do!)

We also liked seeing how the designer (in this case Ilse Crawford) took her individualistic, personalized experience and made it mass (producing a line of interior home goods with IKEA). But, we also remarked that mass doesn’t necessarily mean not thoughtful and it was fun to discuss what thoughtfulness in design means on a mass scale. For example, IKEA flat pack is thoughtful design even if Ilse Crawford described their products as “bad.” This comment provoked some general disagreement in the crowd. :)

This also kicked off conversation about research (referred to as “interrogation” in the documentary) and, hand in hand with that, iteration. How do you approach what you need to learn? How do you work with clients? Or with users? What do you ask them about? And, from what you learn, how do things build or change over time? Obviously, this is a discussion group so there are no hard and fast answers to these questions and we strive to continue to grow and learn.

Ilse Crawford mentioned she found her passion for interior design because she spent a lot of time in hospitals, but the documentary didn’t go much more into that than that one comment. We wondered if she ever designed for hospitals or the public sector (other than IKEA….), as most of her work is for high-end private clients. In re: design and hospitals, I recommended this 99% Invisible podcast (run time 13 min) about Virginia Mason Medical Center redesigning their hospital to promote better efficiency and in turn a better patient experience AND more $$$. Hi-five! This will sound very familiar to any product/project managers here.

Finally, I will leave you with the quote a participant read us that, along with other parts of the conversation, inspired the topic for April 2018.

The useless days will add up to something. The shitty waitressing jobs. The hours writing in your journal. The long meandering walks. The hours reading poetry and story collections and novels and dead people’s diaries and wondering about sex and God and whether you should shave under your arms or not. These things are your becoming.

Please join us in April for a discussion on consistency vs innovation. To RSVP, go to www.emilylawrence.net/contact.