Doing things differently is a common theme of many innovative ideas. Often new ideas appear ludicrous or comical because they are untested and go against the “normal” way of thinking. Revolutionary ideas are always unexpected, if they are not then people would have already done them. The story of Gracie Jujitsu at UFC 1 is an excellent source of inspiration for those times that you are going against the “normal” way of thinking.

Revolutionary ideas are always unexpected, if they are not then people would already be doing it.


Designers talking to designers about design won’t lead to new ideas. The same goes for Engineers, Philosophers, Artists…and every other discipline. However, it feels more important for designers to remember this because as a discipline it has a reputation for self indulgence. Though not entirely true, this stereotype had to come from somewhere, right?

Why not look to nature for your next colour scheme? Or to ocean navigation from the year 1060 for your next UX pattern?

Dribbble is a good example of this. It is fun to infinitely scroll through the beautiful visuals displayed on their platform but if…


You may have heard before that its easy to go from bad to good but difficult to go from good to great. Practicing design for many years across a range of industries in successful companies, I have identified some behaviours in design teams that have lead to (or prevented) great design. I’ve boiled these factors down into 4 principles that I believe to be the core essentials of great design, principles I look to nurture within the teams I lead at IBM. For clarification I have represented them in a ‘web of great design’.

The web of great design

Just as a spider’s web brakes…


I recently gave a talk at IxDA about designing for AI and how my team and I at IBM Watson had identified and tackled some key challenges. I wanted to capture the key points from the talk in this post.

We are moving in to a new era of computing, the cognitive era where computers will no longer simply take our orders and produce answers but will become our sidekicks, making effective suggestions to help us achieve our goals faster, cheaper and to a higher standard.

Most peoples preconceptions of AI are taken from Sci-fi films, a well known stage…


Voice and chat interfaces are currently popular and likely to be a prominent way in which we interact with technology in the future. They provide a non-intrusive way of interacting with our devices, allowing technology to become more invisible and integrated with humans. However, we can only achieve this if companies can access and utilise powerful Machine Learning algorithms and build chat user interfaces for their own products/services.


You can be good by following UX patterns, but you will never be great. Every design problem is different: different users, different markets and different objectives. Sure, some may be similar but if you look closely you will see that they are subtly different. If every problem is different then so must be every solution and therefore, the methods and approach used to reach that solution. In my opinion, this is how the great UX Designers work and think- tailoring their methods to fit the design problem they are facing, not just copy pasting the latest UX trends, and crowbarring…

John Morgan

John Morgan — A Design Lead currently working for IBM Cloud

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