At 2am on a balmy Halloween, while trickers and treaters raged through the night as 2017’s dankest memes, my wife gave birth to our beautiful boy Theo.

The biological and emotional miracle of birth is not lost on me. Witnessing the remarkable feat of growing and shipping a new human is one thing, but appreciating the legendary strength and patience it requires has amplified my respect for all mothers infinitely, forever. My wife is a fucking hero, full stop.

A few weeks into our journey with Theo, who represents both product and customer in this story, I realized that many…

This year’s holiday food coma provided me the opportune moment for serious introspection. Rhythmic sugar highs punctuated by MSG-glazed Chinese spreads found me gazing into the angelic milk-drunk face of our eight-week-old son Theo, wondering what the crystal ball of design might hold for his funky future.

Before postulating deeply on that distant mirage, there are a few things that need to happen first. In order to dig into that, I’ll share my two fundamental beliefs:

  • Human-centered software strategy, design and development is one of the most powerful vehicles to drive progress
  • Deeply committed collaboration and feedback amongst passionate, multidisciplinary…

Picture this. You’ve gathered your team to kick off a new project. Words like innovative, user-centred, impactful, and best-in-class are being thrown around while knowing head nods ripple in their wake. There’s excitement in the air. This is it, this is going to be the one, the revolutionary project you’ve all been waiting for.

The meeting wraps and your team leaves inspired, ready to work feverishly towards a meaningful outcome. However you’ve all just used the same powerful words … to describe completely different solutions.

Time passes and outputs are created. You regroup, excited to review progress, but there’s an…

Throughout the year, our 365 day calendar triggers rhythmic moments of personal reflection, shared learning, and an abundance of on-trend top ten lists. Birthdays, anniversaries, holidays, new year’s eve; we’ve auto-scheduled check-ins with ourselves and each other about where we’re at and how things are going. Looking back at the plight of the product designer in 2015, these are my 3 recommendations for making design process better.

1. No more lingo

For the love of communication, let’s make an effort to return to plain language. It’s not going to be easy, but I don’t want to talk about ‘identifying deficiencies in the current experience…

I’m a product designer at a software agency. Agency work is defined by finite and all-consuming engagements with clients. The successful outcomes of these engagements and the relationships that fuel them are the most important things to me.

As a human centered designer, I believe that there are only three things that ensure that success. I start every project by imagining that I have no idea what I’m doing, and know that by following these steps I’ll end up doing the right thing.

Disclaimer: this may read like some motivational abstract from the pulpit, the latest corny sermon from a…

Liam Oscar Thurston

Senior Director of User Experience at Loblaw Digital, ex Creative Director @TWG, building human-centered software for all.

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