I recently had to think about a certain kind of trip, I have been on too many times. I bet you have been there too at one point. I am not speaking about conferences, talks or vacation. I am talking about a safari — the design safari.

What is the Safari Mode?

We tend to complain about clients that don’t know what they want. It’s the old joke: “I don’t know what I want — until I see it”. Imagine clients sitting in a jeep in the vast land and just have a look around of the many beautiful things in the wild. …

The tragic events and unsettling developments of the last years on a global scale and the rising open nationalism all over the “Western World“ create a deep feeling of unsettlement within me. I cannot ignore the feeling that we are steering towards a break point in (at least recent) history.

Also, as a professional designer this is worrying me. Because our job is to shape things that solve problems. But in the face of those big, “real” problems, what value does it bring to help a client reach his goals?

Ethical problems are not exclusive to design.

In the design community there is a lot of discussion…

On of my main goals with my writing is to show you different approaches to building thinking tools, that can help you in your design process. Today I want to explain a thinking-tool for designing more complex systems. The goal of this tool is to make sure all small design decisions serve the right purpose and create a round big picture.

Understanding beacon concepts.

Every design decision needs to serve a purpose. This is nothing new. But when you are defining the margins of a page of a book or the colour of a button, this mantra becomes abstract and distant. …

The goal of every language is to foster communication. Most languages are built upon two pillars: Words (vocabulary) and rules (grammar). So if we view a design system as a language, we might just start by defining these categories.

In a time where tools and knowledge are so easy to access, what makes design great is not the knowledge of the craft or all the inspiration in the world. The most crucial decisions in a design process happen long before you draw the first stroke.

Design starts with thinking. Thinking about what is there to design. Thinking about who you are designing for and what goals you want to achieve. You have to define goals. …

Jan Aulbach

“Think with clarity and design with commitment to your thinking. To help, inform and empower people.”

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