Writing as a design tool

I have been experimenting with Midjourney. It’s incredible to see the beautiful images it can create.

This technology is super exciting although the use of language to make adjustments seems to be very crude and limited if you want to make enhancements or small changes.

In the images below I loved the colours and atmosphere of the picture, but couldn’t get the surfer or his board to look how I wanted it. It often created a completely different picture. Which was still beautiful, but not what I had in mind.

Creating design with words has always been super complex. We can walk out of a room having a wonderful conversation with a group of people about what something should look like, only to find out later we all had different realities in our head.

Making an artefact is often what turns an idea or concept into something we can discuss, challenge and make better.

As a designer we are used to use our hands to make and shape things. Most work is iterating. And maybe for these tools we need to learn how to iterate our writing. As we always have been learning to work with new tools. One picture is worth a thousand words :)

Curious to see how this will develop and at the same time be impressed what it can do already.

Wave surfer in the the winter during twilight photorealistic

February 20, 2023

A birds eye view on systemic change

We are going through some of the biggest changes in food and energy systems. Two links that caught my attention this week.

The long view on decarbonisation by Nathaniel Bullard. Check the presentation on his website. https://www.nathanielbullard.com/presentations 1

I also read this interesting interview with Herman Wijffels, who is great in taking a birds eye view. He is making the case we are moving from an industrial area based on making based on extraction into an organic one where keeping balance in the system, or improving is the only possible design principle.

https://re-generation.cc/longread/herman-wijffels/ 2

  1. Via Benedict Evans↩︎

  2. Article is in Dutch, Google Translated link↩︎

February 19, 2023

Design’s Mid-Life Crisis

Great talk by Andy Budd on the growing maturity of design in this talk, Design’s Mid-Life Crisis.

June 2, 2022

Quantifying user experiences

This image is from the latest deck of Benedict Evans. Each year he gives an overview of macro trends and it never disappoints. Make sure to follow his newsletter or twitter.

In this year’s deck there is a slide about the digital experiences in the banking industry. It’s fascinating to see that you can quantify in a chart how tech-savvy’ companies are by just counting clicks.

Counting and observing is a method of quantifying user experiences that doesn’t get the attention it deserves. It’s a very basic way to compare between different companies. Create a spreadsheet and just start writing down what you see.

How many clicks does something take. How many seconds does something take. What are the features of company A, what are the features of company B. What is the pricing setup. What is the information I get per step in the funnel.

Doing this exercise will help you see where you over or under perform compared to competitors. And where you can have the biggest impact by adding or removing something.

It’s a good method to make clear what you often already know, but is difficult to articulate.

In this image, what makes Revolut or Monzo different form Barclays or HSBC? They care more about simplifying the onboarding process as they probably care more about getting new customers.

Image from Benedict Evans presentation 2021

December 11, 2021

Pushing Creativity

This piece of video from the Beatles documentary by Peter Jackson is wonderful.

It’s a look into the creative process when things are stuck, but somewhere there must be an exit that makes everything right.

In this fragment Paul McCartney is persistently exploring different variations that don’t seem to be right. Pushing until things eventually fall into place and Get Back appears.

December 3, 2021

Joining Dott

Entering the world of Micro mobility

Happy to announce that I have joined Dott as Head of Product Design.

I have been a close observer of Micro mobility. Following the journey of Horace in this field.

Battery technology and connectivity are changing a lot of things around us, and transport is one of them.

A multimodal future where you use and combine different types of transportation is exciting and changing how we work and live.

Looking forward to work towards a cleaner and more sustainable feature!

November 10, 2021