The Swiss army knife metaphor

The ones who know me, have heard me use the Swiss Army knife metaphor several times… here’s why 🙂

“Metaphors are powerful because brains are visual, we learn by association, naturally chunk information, process visuals more quickly, understand through stories and find delight in the unexpected. Choose metaphors that are (mostly) timeless, universally recognised, and supporting the message. For inspiration, look at nature (e.g. roots, caterpillar), toys (e.g. lego bricks, puzzles) or familiar/nostalgic objects (swiss army knife, stool, hourglass).
Turning words into metaphors is challenging, but worth the effort. Good concept models need to be refined, and moved through different fidelities (from pen-and-paper sketch to digital diagram to graphically designed version).”

swissarmyknifefail

Link: http://johnnyholland.org/2010/05/ux-london-report-day-3/

“26 Time Management Hacks I Wish I’d Known at 20”

Porque partilho isto? | Why do I sharing this?
Porque a aprender a gerir melhor o tempo e as tarefas com o objectivo de melhorar o chamado work/life balance é uma das minhas principais prioridades. | Because learning to better manage my time and tasks with the goal of improving my work/life balance is one of my main priorities.

Sugru

Ao inicio lembrei-me dos SUGUS que eu devorava em pequeno 🙂 mas não! é algo diferente (mas igualmente colorido)!… watch it!

We are moving our cube

In a recent article from Harvard Business Review called “Who Moved My Cube” by Anne-Laure Fayard and John Weeks the authors write about how the design of work spaces can be influent in the interaction between colleagues of the same team.

For me, the most important is the three main affordances a workspace should present in order to have a good workspace: Proximity, Privacy and Permission.

  • – Proximity it’s about the ability to drive people to public shared spaces like water coolers or coffee machines;
  • – Privacy it’s all about people feeling confident enough to have conversations without being interrupted or overheard;
  • – Finally, Permission it’s about letting people feel free to start conversations and by that, sharing ideas with each other.

Focusing on this last affordance, and because our team has been working on our workspace with Permission in mind, it’s important to have a mix of three characteristics that allow Permission in our team which are the physical space itself, the artifacts in that space and de company culture.

Again, looking at how guys at IDEO work, the authors of the HBR article explain they allow Permission by having Open-plan offices, portable furniture and of course a company policy that encourages people to move around to collaborate with whom they are working with.

We have been taking some steps in the last weeks towards Permission between team members simply by removing a big cabinet that was dividing the team in half!.. I’ve already seen changes in our team dynamics 🙂

Working like bees!

These past few months I’ve been doing some thinking about the way I work with my team.

Last year on of my managers went to Stanford for a very interesting training on Design Thinking, and he was eager to share on the spot some ideas he picked in Stanford in those few days.

First of all the workspaces at Stanford are planned to empower everyone to:

  • Share ideas – you can work standing up or seated in high stools – very dynamic
  • Transformable work spaces – there were lots of modular furniture pieces, and most rooms had multiple setup options.
  • Build fast prototypes – The DYI tasks are supported with a multitude of office suplys (mini-staples like). All of this in a DIY, sleeves up way of work!

Does it mean we can totally forget the way we traditionally work with our team? Working in the same spot we have been working for the past years in the office? in the same assigned cubicles? With all interactions with people scheduled on Outlook or Google calendar?

Well, we probably still need this calm and focused environment for some tasks, but I see my colleagues needing more and more interactions from each other in much less time!  We are trying to rearrange our work space to allow us to fail soon. As a designing team, we need to fail faster, sooner and with less costs! Believe me, this is an idea cherished by our team J

So the paradigm of working alone in a project or client carrying only our bare knowledge, and having  just one or two interactions, (normally by phone, email, skype) with our team colleagues is becoming more and more unproductive… The way to work in Design Thinking projects is to work Together most of the time!… Like bees we can became stronger together.