Hello, Are You Following Design at IBM?

If you’ve been a long-time follower of our Medium channel, you might be wondering why we haven’t posted yet.

First, thanks for sticking around long enough to learn the answer. Second, we are busy building our publication, Design at IBM. Our role on Medium is (mostly) an amplifier of insights and ideas from the people in our studios in their own words. To date we have stories from designers, developers, engineers, and business consultants sharing their stories around their practice of design at IBM.

The authors on our publication are individuals before they are IBMers. Their posts go through minimal — mostly grammatical — editing to ensure that their voice in the Medium community remains authentic.

Below are five articles that’ll give you a taste of the wide range of topics Design at IBM covers. If you like what you see, go ahead and give us a follow, check out the archives, and stay tuned for more.


6 Lessons You Learn in the First 6 Months Designing for IBM by Colin Budd

A young UX Designer walks you through how his first six months at IBM changed him as a designer and person. Colin gives some morsels of advice on how to successfully adapt and grow at a new company as a designer. This is a must-read for young designers experiencing growing pains, or looking for some direction.

Blockchain Design Principles by Sarah Baker Mills

Since blockchain’s kind of a big deal at IBM, our designers obviously have some skin in the game. In this post, Sarah explains how she uses design to make something that is very technical, human-centered. Security is at the core of blockchain’s utility, so user trust must be at the core of its design.

Creating a culture of design by Tom Waterton

What defines the culture of a workplace? Sometimes it’s hard to put your finger on it. Tom articulates how culture at IBM Design is built, and how these specific factors impact our work. Looking to make some changes to your workplace culture? These tangible insights might inspire some thoughtful introspection.

Listen to the wild ducks: How IBM adopted Slack by Bill Higgins

The beginning of Slack usage at IBM was a grassroots and rebellious effort made by a few persistent individuals. Bill worked with these “wild ducks” (a term of endearment around here) to help them — and the rest of IBM — use the tool for official projects. Moral of the story? Find the disruptors and innovators in your company, and figure out how to harness their talent in a way that’s fulfilling to them. Pro tip: Check out the footnotes in this article too. They’re pretty great.

Empathetic Design for the Digital End of Life by Stefanie Owens

A lot of the conversation about product afterlife centers around things that exist in the physical world. But in what Stefanie describes as a “brain dump,” she takes physical disassembly considerations and applies them to the digital space. She tackles questions like, “How does a company design for the use case of when a user passes away?” and “How do you treat your users when something goes wrong?”

Still with us?

As a bonus for sticking around, check out “The 80/20 Rule in User Experience.” written by Arin Bhowmick our awesome VP of Design of IBM Hybrid Cloud. Yes, you really can apply the 80/20 rule to everything.


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