Posts tagged “all”

Leader or manager?

A while ago a colleague of mine asked me the question “Do you consider yourself to be a leader or a manager?” Initially, I responded that I thought myself to be a manager as an essential aspect of my role is managing expectations, ideas and developments of a number of services. However, a debate ensued as my colleague believed me to be more a leader than a manager, and now I am not so sure which one I am!

Approximate conversion from points to pixels

Here’s a chart that converts points to pixels (and ems and %) where the base size is 16px. It’s an approximation, which will depend on font, browser and OS, but it’s a good starting point.

Open standards: Break down those walls

On the Web, a walled garden is an environment that controls the user’s access to Web content and services. In effect, the walled garden directs the user’s navigation within particular areas, to allow access to a selection of material, or prevent access to other material.

Online social networks: Everywhere, yet nowhere

In the late 1990s, a large multi-national technology corporation, hoping to become a major force in online advertising, bought a small start-up in a sector that was believed to be the next big thing. That corporation was Microsoft and the start-up was Hotmail. Hotmail and Microsoft established web-based email as a must-have application for personal use. The addition of Hotmail to the Microsoft inventory promised to increase the companies online revenues that were being dominated by Yahoo!, Google and AOL amongst a host of others.

My work philosophy

Okay, so many of the points below aren’t purely my philosophy, but ideas and principles I have picked up along the way throughout my career. Some relate to the UNIX philosophy, or even the Zen of Python, but wherever they’re from, they can be applied to many other domains.

Google’s Philosophy – Ten Things

One of Google’s mantras is to never settle for the best. The perfect search engine, says Google co-founder Larry Page, would understand exactly what you mean and give back exactly what you want. Given the state of search technology today, that’s a far-reaching vision requiring research, development and innovation to realise. Google is committed to blazing that trail. Though acknowledged as the world’s leading search technology company, Google’s goal is to provide a much higher level of service to all those who seek information, whether they’re at a desk in Boston, driving through Bonn, or strolling in Bangkok.

IDEO’s Human-Centred Design Toolkit

Human-Centred Design (HCD) is a process used for decades to create new solutions for companies and organisations. HCD can help you enhance the lives of people. This process has been specially-adapted for organisations like that work with people in Africa, Asia, and Latin America. HCD will help you hear people’s needs in new ways, create innovative solutions to meet these needs, and deliver solutions with financial sustainability in mind.

Jakob Nielsen’s 10 Usability Heuristics

These are ten general principles for user interface design suggested by Jakob Nielsen. They are called heuristics because they are more in the nature of rules of thumb than specific usability guidelines.

Dieter Rams’ 10 Rules of Good Design

Dieter Rams is a German industrial designer closely associated with the consumer products company Braun and the Functionalist school of industrial design. Many of Rams’ designs—coffee makers, calculators, radios, audio/visual equipment, consumer appliances and office products—have found a permanent home at many museums over the world, including MoMA in New York.

An Introduction to the Semantic Web

The Semantic Web is a web of data. There is lots of data we all use every day, and most of it is not part of the web. I can see my bank statements on the web, and my photographs, and I can see my appointments in a calendar. But can I see my photos in a calendar to see what I was doing when I took them and on a map so I know where I took them? Can I see bank statement lines in a calendar? The answer, right now, is no.

The Human Action Cycle by Don Norman

The human action cycle, also known as the Seven Stages of Action, is a psychological model which describes the steps humans take when they interact with computer systems. The model can be used to help evaluate the efficiency of a user interface (UI). Understanding the cycle requires understanding the user interface design principles of affordance, feedback, visibility and tolerance.

Hansen’s user engineering principles for interactive systems

The ‘feel’ of an interactive system can be compared to the impressions generated by a piece of music. Both can only be experienced over a period of time. With either, the user must abstract the structure of the system from a sequence of details. Each may have a quality of ‘naturalness’ because successive actions follow a logically self-consistent pattern. A good composer can write a new pattern which will seem, after a few listenings, to be so natural the observer wonders why it was never done before.

The dimensions of a good experience

Good designs are useful, usable and desirable. But what is a good experience? While crafting the experience of her own startup, Foodspotting, Alexa Andrzejewski found answers in urban design. Asking the same question about urban experiences, Kevin Lynch, author of Good City Form, extracted a set of dimensions for evaluating experiences. By applying these principles to interactive experiences, you can identify what kind of experience you’re creating for users: Is it adaptable? Does it tell a story? Are there signs of life? You’ll leave with a set of guidelines that, unlike traditional heuristics, will enable you to evaluate the experiential qualities of your designs.

Gestalt principles of perception

The whole is greater than the sum of the parts

Gestalt psychology is a theory of mind and brain positing that the operational principle of the brain is holistic, parallel, and analogue, with self-organising tendencies.

Design Principles – The Philosophy of UX

The visual principles of harmony, unity, contrast, emphasis, variety, balance, proportion, pattern and direction (and others) are widely recognised and practiced, even when they aren’t formally articulated. But creating a good design doesn’t automatically mean creating a good experience. In order for us to cultivate positive experiences for our users, we need to establish a set of guiding principles for experience design.

A Design Thinker’s personality profile

Contrary to popular opinion, you don’t need weird shoes or a black turtleneck to be a design thinker. Nor are design thinkers necessarily created only by design schools, even though most professionals have had some kind of design training. Many people outside professional design have a natural aptitude for design thinking, which the right development and experiences can unlock.

How to make Design Thinking part of the innovation drill

The myth of creative genius is resilient. We believe that great ideas pop fully formed out of brilliant minds, in feats of imagination well beyond the abilities of mere mortals. But Design Thinking is neither a sudden breakthrough nor the lightning strike of genius; it is the result of hard work augmented by a creative human-centred discovery process, followed by iterative cycles of prototyping, testing, and refinement.

Robert Cialdini’s 6 Universal Types of Influence

The human mind is an intriguing thing, capable of the most complex thought processes and ideas. Yet the brain is on automatic pilot for many situations. That allows the conscious mind to focus on other tasks. One potential drawback is that it is possible take advantage of our conscious inattention.

Top-down and bottom-up processing in sensation and perception

There are two general processes involved in sensation and perception. Bottom-up processing refers to processing sensory information as it is coming in. In other words, if I flash a random picture on the screen, your eyes detect the features, your brain pieces it together, and you perceive the image. What you see is based only on the sensory information coming in. Bottom-up refers to how we construct the image from the smallest sensory information pieces. Top-down processing, on the other hand, refers to perception driven by cognition. Your brain applies what it knows and what it expects to perceive and fills in the blanks.

43 things customers think are fun

We’ve all played games as children. Today, millions of people ‘lose’ themselves in massively multiplayer games (MMPG) like World of Warcraft, strategy games like League of Legends and social media games like FarmVille. Games satisfy our need to interact, compete, and exercise our imagination. And they’re fun.

Game Dynamics, or Gamification to you and me

In behavioural economics, gamification is the use of game dynamics for non-game applications, particularly consumer-oriented web and mobile sites, in order to encourage people to adopt the applications. It also strives to encourage users to engage in desired behaviours in connection with the applications.

10 principles of inclusive web design

Inclusive design is well established in architecture and industrial design and the principles that apply to these disciplines are equally relevant on the web. It’s people that your website engages with, not technologies, so a user-centred approach is fundamental.

11 laws and principles to use in design

Design elements, laws and principles, garnered over centuries of observation, describe fundamental ideas about the practice of good visual design that are assumed to be the basis of all intentional visual design strategies. These elements form the ‘vocabulary’ of the design, while the laws and principles constitute the broader structural aspects of its composition.

You’re being gamed

You, like many people, aren’t stupid, but it’s an unfortunate fact of life that you can be fooled. Since the dawn of time, the best salespeople, rightly or wrongly, have been known to exploit vulnerabilities and weaknesses of the human mind to their own gain.

Self-motivated and skilled

Simon was a pleasure to work with, self motivated and skilled. He had a true passion for technology and took great pride in his work.

IBM’s design principles

Software can be designed to simplify tasks and to create a positive overall experience for users. Thoroughly understanding the goals of users and stakeholders and designing software with those goals in mind are the best approaches to successfully delivering products that will delight customers.

Donald Norman’s 3 dimensions of emotional design

Emotional Design is both the title of a book by Donald Norman and of the concept it represents. The main issue discussed is that emotions have a crucial role in the human ability to understand the world, and how they learn new things.

Lund’s expert ratings of usability maxims

Published in the Ergonomics in Design journal in 1997, Arnold Lund collected and created this list of 34 rules-of-thumb (given below in order of priority) that were found particularly useful during the design process by colleagues working in the Human-Computer Interaction (HCI) design field.

Disney’s 12 basic principles of animation

The Twelve Basic Principles of Animation is a set of principles of animation introduced by the Disney animators Ollie Johnston and Frank Thomas in their 1981 book The Illusion of Life: Disney Animation.

Apple’s 27 guidelines for mobile user experience design

People appreciate mobile apps that feel as though they were designed expressly for the device. For example, when an app fits well on the device screen and responds to the gestures that people know, it provides much of the experience people are looking for. And, although people might not be aware of human interface design principles, such as direct manipulation or consistency, they can tell when apps follow them and when they don’t.

Creative thinking hacks

Back in 2007, Scott Berkun wrote a really interesting essay on Creative Thinking Hacks. In the article he suggested “all of us possess everything necessary to be more creative. The problem is we’ve been trained away from our creative instincts by schools, parents, movies, workplaces” and now the unerring distraction of the World Wide Web.

Highly likeable, talented and driven

Simon is an all round talent. He has quality communication skills which he blends well with his considerable technical abilities. Highly likeable, talented, passionate and driven individual.

Accomplished and passionate

Simon is an accomplished User Experience Architect. He has a keen mind, an inherent understanding of human interaction, and a real passion for user-centred design. In addition to his user experience skills, Simon’s also a very capable developer.

Cuts through complexity

I had a great time working with Simon at Canonical. He fit our team immediately and was soon a key part of it, so it was sad to see him go. His insight and experience were most valuable and he very quickly had a thorough understanding of the business, which at a company like Canonical is vital to do good work and is, in my opinion, an essential part of being a great user experience designer.

Plutchik’s wheel of emotion

Pyschologist Robert Plutchik developed one of the most popular classifications of emotion called Plutchik’s wheel of emotion.

Taxonomy of emotions

Products and services can evoke a wide range of emotions, both negative and positive. Considering these emotions in the design process is an important step in understanding behavioural impact.

Prototyping towards a better user experience

Designing websites has traditionally been an expensive and laboured experience. Many hours have been spent pouring over information architecture, deliberating interactions, elaborating upon wireframes and creating pixel-perfect Photoshop and Illustrator compositions, only for those design artefacts to be archived neatly away, on a server, never to be seen again.


Enthusiastic and hard-working

I worked with Simon on a number of projects and initiatives while at Foolproof. Simon is an experienced professional with a broad skillset ranging from user experience research and design, to multi-channel digital strategy, and front-end development. Simon is enthusiastic and hard-working, and I always enjoyed collaborating with him.

Talks the same language

I worked with Simon at Foolproof, where he split his time between practising UX as a Principal Consultant and developing the new role of Creative Technologist within the business. Simon brought a unique technology perspective to the table, which complemented our team and helped us to expand our knowledge and build our capabilities into new areas (responsive design, front end development and emerging technologies). He built up an impressive device lab, which was used as a resource to the UX research and design teams as well as our clients.

Thinks holistically

I have worked with Simon closely on two key mobile projects in Blinkbox Music and I have to say that his knowledge and understanding of UX best practices, user centric approach to finding solutions and the overall knowledge in the UX field has made him a valued member of the team.

Cares about solving problems

I have worked with Simon at a number of places and he has really shaped my understanding of what a good UX professional is. Simon truly cares about the customer and solving their problems. To him UX is not just about creating nice interfaces, he really strives to understand users, their needs and interactions.

User experience design and research interview questions

During my time on both sides of the interview table, I’ve asked and received a wide range of design and research related questions. For each interview, I’ve tried to compile the questions asked. In planning interviews, I’ve also researched and collated questions others have asked. Here are a few of them.

Challenges assumptions

Simon is a pleasure to work with - while he is capable of turning round designs rapidly when required, the depth of his experience and user empathy really shines when he is running the process.

Respectful and pragmatic

I worked with Simon on several product initiatives at Yoti. Simon brings with him a wealth of product design experience. He has a diverse skill set and applies a versatile set of tools appropriate to the opportunity at hand. He is respectful and pragmatic about business and technological constraints but champions consumer value. Simon works very well with multidisciplinary product development teams, as well as externally resourced venture initiatives.

Tenacious and passionate

Simon is an incredibly tenacious and passionate User Experience designer. He has a vast wealth of knowledge and experience that he brings through an empathetic and considered approach. His ability to take user-centred problems and translate them into business value is second to none, and he always approaches every challenge with a smile.

What would augment reality?

From a series of tweets by luke wroblewski

The technology industry is buzzing about Augmented Reality (AR) applications and hardware. In a series of illustrations titled “what would augment reality?” Luke Wroblewski attempts to answer “what value would exceed the pain of charging and wearing augmented reality headsets each day?” and “Are there enough compelling use cases to make AR a daily necessity?”.

Anticipating failure with a pre-mortem

A pre-mortem is the opposite of a post-mortem. A post-mortem allows the team to learn from what happened during a project. We use pre-mortems to identify everything that could go wrong before the project starts.

How to write problem statements

A problem statement is an indispensable tool in any decision-making process. From setting the stage in scientific research to defining the goals of a business project, a well-articulated problem statement can serve as the guiding light that directs your thoughts and actions towards a specific end goal.

Learning from successes and failures with a post mortem

You can’t always anticipate failures with pre-morterms. The problem space may be continually evolving as you iterate and learn. A post-mortem is an opportunity for the team to pause, reflect and learn from their recent successes and failures.

Getting to the heart of a problem with Socratic questioning

Questioning is a skill, yet ambiguous and purposeless questions fill our daily lives, wasting time and not eliciting helpful information. The Socratic method solves this problem by asking focused, open-ended questions encouraging participants to reflect.

Building a register of public-facing services at the Ministry of Justice

Co-authored with matthew solle

The Ministry of Justice is made up of over 30 agencies and public bodies. From Her Majesty’s Courts and Tribunals Service (HMCTS) to the Prison and Probation Ombudsman. The department delivers a wide range of justice-related information services to complex and widely used public services such as ‘Get a divorce’, ‘Apply for probate’ or ‘Apply for legal aid’.

Focused on the user

Simon’s work as a Service Designer on my team at the Ministry of Justice over the past 2 and a half years has been second to none. His dedication, attention to detail and focus on the user has always been at the forefront of his work.

Introducing the Ministry of Justice design system

Co-authored with matthew solle

A design system unites product teams around a common visual language. It reduces design and technical debt, accelerates the design and development process, and builds bridges between teams working in concert to bring products to life. —Maxime Rabot

Values learning

Simon brought energy, logic, and humour to the design community at the Ministry of Justice. It’s clear that he valued learning, instead of just answering questions or fixing code, always justifying his rationale and explaining why something went wrong so that I could learn. That’s such a great quality and he will be a huge asset to wherever he goes next.

Deep thinker

Simon is an excellent designer with coding skills and technical knowledge. Together this makes him superb at designing end to end digital services as well as producing interfaces that are usable and accessible.

Calm and proactive approach

I worked with Simon on GOV.UK’s coronavirus response and transition preparations, and can honestly say he’s a total dime to work with. He has a brilliant skills blend of strategy, front end design, and technical. And you know that any design challenge you throw at him from across this spectrum will be in a safe pair of hands. He works with a calm and proactive approach, and speaks up for users’ needs when it most counts. He has extensive knowledge of GOV.UK’s design system (and has contributed to the development of quite a few of the components and patterns on it). This really helps when you’re working on something of critical importance at such pace, as we have been on the coronavirus response. I hope he comes back to work with us on GOV.UK soon!

Excellent coach and mentor

I worked with Simon at Ministry of Justice Digital & Technology between 2017-2019 during which time for all intents and purposes he was the lead interaction designer across the whole of the team of 25+ designers. He was the go to person for all support and an excellent coach and mentor. He was instrumental in the development of the MoJ Design System and the relationship with the GOV.UK Design System team in Government Digital Service. He was also instrumental in the building and development of the MoJ Register of Public Facing Services. He was one of the most senior and experienced design assessors in the team. I always want Simon as part of my team and that is why he is part of the highly esteemed Bright & Matt network.

Sees the bigger picture

Simon is one of those designers you can put into any situation and you know he’ll deliver good work. He has a broad skillset across the design spectrum and is calm under pressure. He is very adaptable and is capable of working on bigger picture strategy as well as the more detail orientated nature of digital service delivery. Simon also has great knowledge of the government design principles, service standard and GOV.UK design system.

Natural advocate for design

For over two years, I worked with Simon in his various service design and interaction design roles and at various product lifecycle stages. Simon is excellent at designing services with different stakeholders and incentives in complex contexts.

Thinks strategically

Simon was the first designer I ever worked with when I started out as a content designer at the Department for Education and he set the bar very high!

The styles directory is broken into a number of layers in order to help provide a logical structure, loosely following the conventions of ITCSS.


I come from an illustrious line of “Simons”, which perhaps started with a 1950’s personal computer, went via the first-ever smartphone, made by IBM, and on to a famous 1980’s electronic game. While all these objects share my name, that is where the comparison ends. I’m not a digital device, but I am passionate about technology, user experience and, how technology drives or is driven by human behaviour.


This accessibility statement applies to my website at

Cookie policy

This is the cookie policy for (my website). It explains how I use cookies and similar technologies to recognise you when you visit my website. It explains what these technologies are and why I use them, as well as your rights to control my use of them.


Over the past nineteen years, I’ve been fortunate to work with and lead teams across a wide variety of industries, for a large number of clients (in-house and agency-side) and across a broad range of platforms (desktop and mobile; Android, iOS and Web).

My name is Simon Whatley. I’m a service designer, creative technologist, coach, thinker, tinkerer, observer of people, maker of things.

99% Invisible

Design is everywhere in our lives, perhaps most importantly in the places where we’ve just stopped noticing. 99% Invisible is a weekly exploration of the process and power of design and architecture.

Being Human

Being Human is for people who want go deep on what it means to be a human making a difference. Guests discuss how to be better humans at work and in life. They explore leadership, relationships and how to make changes in ourselves and our environments.

d.MBA – Beyond Users

Beyond Users explores relevant business concepts that helps us become better designers who not only solve user challenges but also achieve business goals.

Creative Confidence

The IDEO U Creative Confidence Series hosts candid conversations with some of today’s most inspiring change makers and design thinkers who believe in leading through creativity. Hosts Suzanne Gibbs Howard and Coe Leta Stafford, co-managing directors of IDEO U, speak with guests about their approach to leadership, creativity, innovation, and growth. Get insight into their success through personal stories, tips and tricks, and learn how to bring a human-centred approach to your own work.

Design Better

The Design Better podcast delivers insights from the world’s most renowned design leaders, empowering teams to transform their practice and build remarkable products.

Design Details

Design Details is a weekly conversation about design process and culture.

Design Matters

Design Matters with Debbie Millman is one of the world’s very first podcasts. Broadcasting independently for over 14 years, the show is about how incredibly creative people design the arc of their lives.

The Design of Business | The Business of Design

The podcast interviews fascinating people from a range of industries—from music and retail to journalism and technology—who are exploring their creative practices, inventing new ways of working, and helping shape a more inclusive world.


Simply, Exponent is a podcast about tech and society.

Finding our way

UX design pioneers and Adaptive Path co-founders Peter Merholz and Jesse James Garrett discuss the evolving challenges and opportunities for design leaders.


A wise person once said, “hearing is through the ears, but listening is through the mind.”

The Knowledge Project

The Knowledge Project quite simply helps you master the best of what other people have already figured out.


Layout is a weekly podcast about design, technology, programming and everything else.

Mixed Methods

Mixed Methods is a podcast interested in the how’s and why’s of user experience research. Through interviews with industry experts and hands-on trial and error, they indulge in and celebrate curiosity. Aryel and her guests test assumptions, examine methods, and engage in some old fashion experiments.


Re:considering explores how to navigate your career, relationships, and the values that guide you through the inevitable changes of life. Each episode co-hosts Bob Baxley, Meredith Black, and Aarron Walter talk with people who’ve figured a few things out about living a satisfying life filled with meaning and show you how you can too.

Service Design Podcast

In collaboration with the Service Design Network, the Service Design Podcast, unsurprisingly, includes conversations about Service Design with practitioners from around the world.

Service Design Show

The Service Design Show hosts light hearted conversations with the people that are shaping Service Design field, discussing the current state of the industry, exciting new developments and challenges up ahead.

The Growth Equation

Performance coaches and bestselling authors Brad Stulberg and Steve Magness host a podcast on peak performance and well-being that is different than all others. Instead of focusing on “hacks” or nonsense bro-science they delve deep into what actually works—according to years of science, wisdom, and the experiences of the world’s best. A mix of news analysis, concrete tips, and interviews, The Growth Equation podcast is a must-listen for those interested in getting the most out of themselves, success, and fulfillment.

GOV.UK Design System Snippets

This Atom package and Visual Studio Code (VSCode) extension includes snippets for Nunjucks to help build UK Government digital services.

GOV.UK Publishing Components

This npm package used in conjunction with the GOV.UK Prototyping Kit and GOV.UK Design System, contains the code you need to start building user interfaces for UK Government digital services. It’s an amalgamation of components and patterns described in the GOV.UK component guides.


Whether it’s soldering together a Simon game, 3D printing a replica Google Glass or building one of the UK’s first open device labs, I always enjoying making things across different media. It’s cathartic, liberating and helps me learn.

Ministry of Justice Design System

The MoJ Design System and associated npm package is a central repository for patterns and components in use at MoJ Digital & Technology. It builds on and extends the design patterns, components and research evidence in the GOV.UK Design System.

NHS.UK Design System Snippets

This Atom package and Visual Studio Code (VSCode) extension includes snippets for Nunjucks to help build UK NHS (National Health Service) digital services.

Open Device Lab (London)

This is one of the World’s first device labs set up in London at my then employer Foolproof. The lab, which is still running, exists to support local creative communities to test their work on an ever-growing range of handheld devices.


Here are a few of the newsletters I subscribe to to inject a potent blend of utility, optimism, and curiosity into my search for knowledge and inspiration.

Privacy policy

This is the privacy policy for I wrote it with clarity and brevity in mind and does not provide exhaustive detail of all aspects of my collection and use of personal information. I’m happy to provide any additional information or explanation needed beyond that. The privacy notice is valid from 1st January 2020. I keep my privacy policy under regular review, it was last updated in January 2020.

100 Things Every Designer Needs to Know About People

We design to elicit responses from people. We want them to buy something, read more, or take action of some kind. Designing without understanding what makes people act the way they do is like exploring a new city without a map: results will be haphazard, confusing, and inefficient. This book combines real science and research with practical examples to deliver a guide every designer needs. With it you’ll be able to design more intuitive and engaging work for print, websites, applications, and products that matches the way people think, work, and play.

The Art of Scientific Investigation

In The Art of Scientific Investigation, originally published in 1950, W.I.B. Beveridge explores the development of the intuitive side in scientists. The author’s object is to show how the minds of humans can best be harnessed to the processes of scientific discovery. This book therefore centres on the “human factor”; the individual scientist. The book reveals the basic principles and mental techniques that are common to most types of investigation.

Change by Design

How design thinking transforms organisations and inspires innovation

The myth of innovation is that brilliant ideas leap fully formed from the minds of geniuses. The reality is that most innovations come from a process of rigorous examination through which great ideas are identified and developed before being realised as new offerings and capabilities.

Closing the loop

Systems thinking for designers

What does it mean to serve people in today’s converging world where change is a constant? If the last few years have shown us anything from COVID-19, societal imbalance, and climate change, the playbooks that explain how we should serve people need to change. How might we revisit our institutions and industries to instigate systemic, positive change?

Creative Confidence

Unleashing the creative potential within us all

Too often, companies and individuals assume that creativity and innovation are the domain of the “creative types.” But two of the leading experts in innovation, design, and creativity on the planet show us that each and every one of us is creative. In an incredibly entertaining and inspiring narrative that draws on countless stories from their work at IDEO and with many of the world’s top companies, David and Tom Kelley identify the principles and strategies that will allow us to tap into our creative potential in our work lives, and in our personal lives, and allow us to innovate in terms of how we approach and solve problems. It is a book that will help each of us be more productive and successful in our lives and in our careers.

Creativity, Inc.

Overcoming the unseen forces that stand in the way of true inspiration

Design Journeys through Complex Systems

Practice tools for systemic design

Design Journeys through Complex Systems is a designer’s handbook for learning systemic design tools to engage stakeholder groups in collaborative design to address complex societal systems.

The Design of Everyday Things

Even the smartest among us can feel inept as we fail to figure out which light switch or oven burner to turn on, or whether to push, pull, or slide a door. The fault, argues this ingenious, even liberating, book, lies not in ourselves, but in product design that ignores the needs of users and the principles of cognitive psychology.

Design Systems

A practical guide to creating design languages for digital products

As the web continues to become more complex, designing static pages has become untenable, so that many of us have started to approach design in a more systematic way. In this book, Alla Kholmatova sets out to identify what makes an effective design system that can empower teams to create great digital products.

Design Thinking

Understanding how designers think and work

Design thinking is the core creative process for any designer; this book explores and explains this apparently mysterious “design ability.” Focusing on what designers do when they design, Design Thinking is structured around a series of in-depth case studies of outstanding and expert designers at work, interwoven with overviews and analyses. The range covered reflects the breadth of design, from hardware and software design, to architecture and Formula One.

Designing for the Digital Age

How to create human-centred products and services

Whether you’re designing consumer electronics, medical devices, enterprise Web apps, or new ways to check out at the supermarket, today’s digitally-enabled products and services provide both great opportunities to deliver compelling user experiences and great risks of driving your customers crazy with complicated, confusing technology.

Discussing Design

Improving communication and collaboration through critique

Real critique has become a lost skill among collaborative teams today. Critique is intended to help teams strengthen their designs, products, and services, rather than be used to assert authority or push agendas under the guise of “feedback.” In this practical guide, authors Adam Connor and Aaron Irizarry teach you techniques, tools, and a framework for helping members of your design team give and receive critique.

Form Design Patterns

A practical guide to designing and coding simple and inclusive forms for the web

At first glance, forms are simple to learn. Made up of just a handful of inputs, you can create a form in little time. But when we consider the journeys we need to design, the users we need to design for, the browsers and devices of varying sizes, capabilities and bugs being used; and ensuring that the result is simple and inclusive, form design becomes a far more interesting and bigger challenge.


A playbook for innovators, rulebreakers, and changemakers

Good Services

How to design services that work

Service design is a rapidly growing area of interest in design and business management. There are a lot of books on how to get started, but this is the first book that describes what a ‘good’ service is, what makes a good service and why.

Grid Systems in Graphic Design

A handbook for graphic artists, typographers, and exhibition designers

This book is suitable for those who work with automated text and image design. It shows examples of working correctly on a conceptual level. Exact directions for using all of the grid systems presented (8 to 32 grid fields) are given to the reader. These can be used for the most varied of projects. The three-dimensional grid is treated as well. Put simply: a guidebook from the profession for the profession.

How to Make Sense of Any Mess

Information architecture for everybody

Everything is getting more complex. It is easy to be overwhelmed by the amount of information we encounter each day. Whether at work, at school, or in our personal endeavours, there’s a deepening (and inescapable) need for people to work with and understand information.


The best way to learn is by doing, but it would be remiss of me if I didn’t list some of the books that have helped contextualise what I do.

Information Architecture: for the Web and Beyond

Information architecture (IA) is far more challenging—and necessary—than ever. With the glut of information available today, anything your organisation wants to share should be easy to find, navigate, and understand. But the experience you provide has to be familiar and coherent across multiple interaction channels, from the Web to smartphones, smartwatches, and beyond.

The Inmates Are Running the Asylum

Why high tech products drive us crazy and how to restore the sanity

Imagine, at a terrifyingly aggressive rate, everything you regularly use is being equipped with computer technology. Think about your phone, cameras, cars-everything-being automated and programmed by people who in their rush to accept the many benefits of the silicon chip, have abdicated their responsibility to make these products easy to use.

Insight Out

Get ideas out of your head and into the world

The Leader’s Journey

Transforming your leadership to achieve the extraordinary

No one gives you a manual for how to be a great leader. Enter Donna Lichaw. Her step-by-step book draws on psychology, neuroscience, design thinking, and years of coaching experience to help you activate your superpowers and achieve your mission. You’ll transform yourself, your team, and your business into a league of superheroes poised for success.

Lean UX

Designing great products with agile teams

Lean UX has become the preferred approach to interaction design, tailor-made for today’s agile teams. Lean UX advocates Jeff Gothelf and Josh Seiden expand on the valuable principles, tactics, and techniques to share how product teams can easily incorporate design, experimentation, iteration, and continuous learning from real users into their Agile process.

Making Comics

Storytelling secrets of comics, manga and graphic novels

The Mom Test

How to talk to customers & learn if your business is a good idea when everyone is lying to you

Org Design for Design Orgs

Building and managing in-house design teams

Design has become the key link between users and today’s complex and rapidly evolving digital experiences, and designers are starting to be included in strategic conversations about the products and services that enterprises ultimately deliver. This has led to companies building in-house digital/experience design teams at unprecedented rates, but many of them don’t understand how to get the most out of their investment. This practical guide provides guidelines for creating and leading design teams within your organisation, and explores ways to use design as part of broader strategic planning.

Radical Focus

Achieving your most important goals with objectives and key results

Rocket Surgery Made Easy

The do-it-yourself guide to finding and fixing usability problems

In this how-to companion to Don’t Make Me Think, Steve Krug spells out a streamlined approach to usability testing that anyone can easily apply to their own Web site, application, or other product. (As he said in Don’t Make Me Think, “It’s not rocket surgery”.)

The Service Organization

How to deliver and lead successful services, sustainably

All organisations are becoming service organisations. But most weren’t built to deliver services successfully end-to-end, and the human, operational and financial impacts are abundantly clear. Given how rapidly services change, the stakes are even higher in the digital era. Yet default working practices (governance, planning, funding, leadership, reporting, programme and team structures) inside large organisations haven’t changed. Rather than modernising just one service at a time, the underlying organisational conditions must be transformed — anything less is futile.

The Shape of Design

Renowned typographer and poet Robert Bringhurst brings clarity to the art of typography with this masterful style guide.

Shape Up

Stop running in circles and ship work that matters

Sketching User Experiences

Getting the design right and the right design

Sketching User Experiences approaches design and design thinking as something distinct that needs to be better understood―by both designers and the people with whom they need to work―in order to achieve success with new products and systems. So while the focus is on design, the approach is holistic. Hence, the book speaks to designers, usability specialists, the HCI community, product managers, and business executives.

Universal Methods of Design

125 ways to research complex problems, develop innovative ideas, and design effective solutions

Universal Methods of Design serves as an invaluable compendium of methods that can be easily referenced and used by cross-disciplinary teams in nearly any design project.

Universal Principles of Design

125 ways to enhance usability, influence perception, increase appeal, make better design decisions, and teach through design

Whether a marketing campaign or a museum exhibit, a video game or a complex control system, the design we see is the culmination of many concepts and practices brought together from a variety of disciplines. Because no one can be an expert on everything, designers have always had to scramble to find the information and know-how required to make a design work—until now.

Usability Inspection Methods

Considered the founder of this research area, Nielsen presents a contributed exposition written by the foremost experts in this rapidly growing and important field.

User Research

A practical guide to designing better products and services


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Below are a few generous words from people I’ve had the pleasure of working with throughout my career. They didn’t need to write these words, but I’m forever grateful to them for sharing their thoughts.


Join me on my learning journey as I collate my thoughts and document things that interest me. You’ll find subjects from interaction design to service design, product management to the business of design and management, and much more.

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