From a big to a bigger idea.
Design Thinking is a well known UX framework to build experiences. Building an experience involves observation to discover unmet needs within the context and constraints of a particular situation, framing and scoping the opportunity, generating ideas, testing, and refining solutions. Along with this process, it also takes cross-team collaboration to solve complex problems. The experience becomes the product — the bigger idea.
If anything is a constant, it is change itself. I embrace a growth mindset seeking new ways to connect and to bring ideas to life.
Having a curious mind is where it all begins.
Creativity is limitless. There are lessons, ideas, and solutions that can be captured through everything we see and experience. That’s the “big”, but I believe it’s diving from the big picture to the details is what leads to thinking bigger. Finding the possibilities in those details are strategically how I drive research and design elements that connect to a larger experience. A design is successful when it provides solutions to real problems. The discovery and planning stage of designing an experience is where the most valuable information is uncovered and creates an opportunity for new ideas.
I remember when I was first out of college; I put a bullet on my resume stating, “Ability to inspire creativity in others.” It’s funny how some things sound so good when they are in your head, but no one understood this and I couldn’t explain it back then. Since then, I realized I was developing customer empathy. Through repeated experience, I realize that Woody Allen’s quote “90% of life is just showing up” is also pretty true. You’re there, you’re listening, and this is an invaluable skill. Observing users in action with your product reveals all of the reasons why something succeeds or fails. Building intrinsic value automatically gives customers the sense-making they need for a great interaction.
One of my favorite past-times is travel. It has and will forever change how I think and approach design because it inevitably proposes unique challenges and encounters with people who think different and share their perspectives. However, the kind of travel we do isn’t typical, it’s usually immersive.
Finding inspiration for bigger ideas.
As a daily practice, I research something new. Back in 2003, I came across Nova Spivak, a technology futurist who is driving the next generation of search, AI and big data. He had an interesting ongoing project at the time that started with the concept of “idea mining.” The concept originated that ideas build on top of each other and that sentiment can be measured. Throughout my career, I have found that whatever I’m studying at the time, turns out to be the next thing I’m working on. Weird or not? In 2014, I was working on a similar project with some of the brightest minds in the world. As Spivak points out in his “Physics of Ideas,” humans are acutely adept to detecting patterns and trends. We are extremely sensitive to momentum.
When I’m not obsessing over my work of analyzing and building experiences, I’m either traveling with my Husband to far away places like deep in the wild Amazon or standing knee-high in the middle of a river fly fishing.