Insights

Skills of a great digital designer

Words: Whether it is text or voice, words are how a digital designer primarily thinks. The best designers spend enough time to choose the right word because the right words drive the right actions. Code: Words without code are print. Without good code there can be no Web and the best code is lean. Visual:… Read More »

Print culture is holding organizations back

Many organizations have not really adapted to the Web but rather have made the Web adapt to them and their print processes, their print thinking and their print culture. The characteristics of a print culture are: You are creating a fixed, contained, physical thing. It is much more efficient to publish one large thing than… Read More »

Why Web content is badly managed

COVID-19 has exposed many organizations as being unable to react quickly enough. When a pandemic has the potential to grow exponentially, decisions that can mitigate against its growth need to be made very quickly. Information that loss of smell was a key symptom for COVID-19 began to emerge in March 2020, yet many governmental and… Read More »

Wisdom of the crowds, stupidity of organizations

A unique strength of the Web over all other communications channels is its ability to efficiently collect, analyze, organize and publish user-generated content. The combination of digital technology and the wisdom of the crowds is a powerful, revolutionary force. A perfect example of this is a symptom-tracking app launched by researchers at King’s College London… Read More »

A week is a year for COVID-19 content

Has the Web helped or hindered in dealing with COVID-19? That sounds like a crazy question. Surely, unequivocally, the Web has helped. Just like print opened up the world to new ideas, right? “During the first century after Gutenberg’s invention, print did as much to perpetuate blatant errors as it did to spread enlightened truth,”… Read More »

Visualizing the digital experience with Simon at Toyota

A specific strength of the Toyota culture is to come up with innovative ways to visualize problems. This is a particularly critical skill when it comes to digital because digital is a reduced sense environment. It’s very hard to get a ‘feel’ for digital problems. Usually, everything is mediated through a small, cold screen. Toyota… Read More »

Top Tasks at Toyota (Part 2)

The Top Tasks data helped focus the conversation in Toyota about quality and reliability. In a company that is obsessed by quality, it became natural to ask: What is a quality digital experience? How do you measure digital quality? To get the answer to these questions, Toyota went back to its roots. “The whole digital… Read More »

Embracing top tasks at Toyota (Part 1)

I remember once hearing about how Toyota launched in the US. The US car manufacturers were certain it was going to fail because it had a very thinly dispersed dealer and service network. What these manufacturers missed was that Toyota didn’t need a dealer or service center every 30 miles because its cars didn’t break… Read More »

Social media’s dirty secret

A company I helped found launched an online community back in the late Nineties. We got substantial funding and at one stage had more than 50 people working on designing and promoting it. We opened up lots of forums and discussion boards. What we learned very quickly was that without moderation, a great many discussions… Read More »

The dangers of exceptionalism

One of the core reasons why we don’t have a lot more quality Web design is the organizational excuse that we’re different, our audiences are different, we’re exceptional. The argument of exceptionalism is lazy. It is a primitive urge. The exceptionalists hate evidence and love gut feeling, ego and instinct. They invest a lot in… Read More »