Designing Around Deficiency
How I Solve for the Stuff I Suck At
As a young designer, I was as optimistic about my burgeoning career as I was naïve. My first industry job was with a dot-com era startup. We were building a product and team we were all proud to be a part of, working long hours, and I was soaking up as much knowledge as I was able via associates who had many years worth of experience on me.…
26 FEB 2015
Design Thinking For Libraries
Empowering librarians to design new services, by IDEO + The Gates Foundation
What’s the future of libraries? As information goes digital, the role of the brick-and-mortar library has to evolve, too. As the traditional reading rooms become a thing of the past, what’s the best use and function of libraries going forward?
09 JAN 2015
The Best Way to Complain is to Make Things.
How my unwavering insistence upon Internet privacy led me to create my first Chrome extension
Those who know me are aware that I'm a steadfast advocate for internet privacy. I do not want my every click and pageview tracked, catalogued and shared across countless databases of the now thousands of advertising partners working to serve the most laser targeted marketing efforts that have ever been…
18 AUG 2014
Restoring Meaning to the term, UX.
A provocation for discussion.
UX — short for user experience design — is an aspirational term. As designers, we should aspire to craft products that affect a positive experience for our users. UX is a relatively new term, one borne of an evolution from earlier phrases that roll off the tongue a little less easily, idioms like user centered or human centered design…
30 JUN 2014
IDEO Labs: Tools We Like
A quick look at our favorite tools for building and prototyping
When you’re crunching against a tight deadline to design a new-to-the-world digital experience, you do a lot of learning on the fly. One of the cornerstones of our design process at IDEO is that we build to learn. I’ve found I work more quickly and effectively prototyping in the browser itself…
30 JUN 2014
Chicago Energy Data Map
The City of Chicago approached IDEO and Datascope with a one-of-a-kind data set detailing the energy use of all 170,000+ residential properties across the city. They asked that we find a way to make Chicagoans aware of their energy use and educate them as to how they might be more efficient in their daily lives.
Playing off of Chicagoans' per-neighborhood competitive tendencies, we created a map that ranks each neighborhood based upon both natural gas and electric efficiency and a system through which users can pledge to be more efficient on behalf of their respective neighborhoods.
The map was launched on Earth Day, 2014, as a component of Mayor Rahm Emanuel's Chicago Neighborhood Energy Challenge, a six-month pilot competition designed to reduce energy usage in multifamily properties.
22 APR 2014
‘Restored Stories’ is a project that reimagines the context within which bygone photographs from the public domain were captured to tell new, fictional stories of 114 characters or less.
06 MAR 2014
‘Song for Olivia’
‘Song for Olivia’ is a project initiated by my brother, David, when our niece was due for surgery in the fall of 2013…
06 DEC 2013
Rapid, Responsive Web Design & Development Class
I taught a dabble class on rapid, responsive design & development from which all proceeds were donated to Chicago’s Anti-Cruelty Society. With the recipient of the donation in mind, I chose, for the subject matter, that we re-imagine the Anti-Cruelty Society site as a modern and responsive one.
08 JAN 2013
The Squircle and the Superellipse Nerd
Every day at IDEO, I'm inspired by the knowledge and abilities of my associates in ways ever surprising and unexpected as they are delightful and brilliant. Much of this inspiration I gain as a direct result of the sharing of ideas, tools and techniques that help us prototype and build more quickly and effectively, a behavior the interaction designers and coders among us would likely attest that I engage in rather often…
19 NOV 2013
On the Equality of Ideas
My title was nearly the end of me. I was blind to the reality that I had long been struggling to do creative work within the restrictive confines of corporate culture. As a young designer, it’s easy to be duped into believing in the veneer of colorful walls, casual dress and all the things that make a workplace feel as it is designed to, creative. As such, you’re mindless of the daily reality that the first thing you check at the door upon entering is the identity with which you first arrived, that of a designer…
29 NOV 2012
NATO Summit, Chicago, USA, 2012
May 20 & 21, 2012, Chicago played host to the NATO summit, the first ever held in the United States outside of Washington, D.C. Tensions ran high as not all Chicagoans welcomed the presence of many controversial heads of state, both domestic and otherwise. These photos were captured on Sunday, May 20th, during an anti-NATO rally on Chicago’s South Side.
20 MAY 2012
Downcast Eyes Animation
Downcast Eyes was a show at Chicago’s Museum of Contemporary Art where artists were invited to “…present an amalgam of animated GIFs—the only restriction being that everyone’s work be on display only as long as the computer battery lasts.”
I teamed up with friend and associate, Adam Geremia, to produce a number of fluid dynamics studies to film. The below button links to a 720p, downscaled version of the final edit we used to produce a 30-second, 1080p animated GIF. The original, 480MB .gif file can be downloaded here.
20 MAR 2012
For the better part of a year, I mentored Luis, a 13-year old I first met through the Spark Program. I taught Luis about the design process, converting hand drawn illustration into vector assets, game logic and JavaScrpt, while he ensured that I had more homework than I could ever handle as he knocked out any and all lessons as quickly as I could prepare them each week. Luis and I created a concept and demo for a mobile game with a ridiculous name. You can read about our efforts on the City of Chicago’s One Good Deed blog here.
SEP 2011 — JUN 2012
Next Door for State Farm Insurance
A “financial learning space” for the next generation of customers
State Farm, which ranked 37th on the Fortune 500 list in 2011, is the leading insurance company in North America. The company offers a broad range of insurance, banking, and investment products and services. Over the past few years, State Farm’s core offerings have faced various challenges, including a decrease in car ownership per household, public policy changes, safer vehicle design, new car-sharing services, and a shifting client base. To address a changing marketplace and build stronger relationships with Millennials (consumers born between 1981 and 2000), State Farm engaged IDEO in a four-year, radically collaborative relationship that resulted in the design and launch of Next Door, a community-focused learning center that offers free, no-pressure financial coaching to consumers in the Chicago area…
MyFord Mobile for Ford Motor Company
A smartphone app that reinforces smarter driving behaviors
As environmental regulations tighten and consumer demand grows, carmakers around the world are rushing to develop gas-free battery electric vehicles (BEVs) that run exclusively on electricity stored in powerful, state-of-the-art batteries. Leading the zero-emission charge in America, Ford Motor Company plans to break into the consumer electric car market with the Focus Electric, slated to hit dealerships in 2012…
Community Pharmacy for Walgreens
Transforming the corner drugstore into a destination for health and daily living
From humble beginnings as a local Chicago pharmacy more than a century ago, Walgreens is now the largest drugstore chain in America, with over 7,700 stores in all 50 states and sales of $72 billon. In addition to its in-store pharmacies, Walgreens also offers drive-thru and e-script pharmacy services, operates Take Care immediate care clinics, and administers flu shots and other immunizations. Repositioning itself as a national leader in wellness, Walgreens asked IDEO to help rethink, reframe, and evolve what it means to be a community pharmacy in the 21st century…
Vision Home Energy-Management System for Tendril
A revolutionary digital display that promotes household energy savings
Tendril is a leading cleantech energy-management firm that strives to bring widespread insight and control to the smart grid. The Boulder, Colorado-based start-up’s core technology offers an open, secure, and scalable means for enabling utilities and their customers to monitor and share data. The company, looking for the best way to engage consumers in managing their residential energy use, partnered with IDEO to develop a “product ecosystem” strategy. Their partnership led to the design of a device that helps households visualize, monitor, and control energy consumption, and an accompanying web portal…