Design is exciting because it is the practice of shaping the future.
Research requires the discipline of taking an honest look at the past and present.
The present is a mess. It always is. But the present is the soil in which we grow our potential futures.
Innovation takes hold when a new idea fits into existing habits like a key into a lock.
Innovation without inquiry leads to trouble in the real world
As Jared Spool says so economically “Design is the rendering of intent.” Poor design often results from the distortion of good intentions. Few organizations set out to create, on purpose, products that harm or fail, information that confuses or distresses, or teams consumed by status concerns. These things happen because something happens along the way, often something as habitual as it is unintentional.
Leadership throughout a design project is a matter of maintaining clarity, rewarding trust, and encouraging the most effective participation from every stakeholder at every point.
Removing anxiety from the design process can decrease the potential for anxiety in the world. A reactive process leads to me-too products, solutions for non-problems, feature-creep, and tone-deaf communication.
If we do our job right, our work together also gives our clients the tools they need in order to protect that intent from future anxieties, and to adapt the system to those changing scenarios. We can’t predict the future, but we can use information to give our part of it a nudge in the right direction.
by Erika Hall · Co-founder of Mule Design in Design in the Age of Anxiety