When a name becomes a brand

During a recent interview I was invited to share my thoughts on how a company brand impacts my product design. After considering the question, I sheepishly confessed that given my focus on enterprise apps where complex workflows and dense layouts are often the norm, brand had never been a key driver. That is naturally not to say that I do not recognise the power and value of a strong brand, but rather that I consider that I dwell in spaces where functionality is paramount, leaving little room for the company identity to express itself. Digging further, I realised I believe in...

Motorcycle Adventuring as a Design Bootcamp

On January 2013 I left my job at Groupon to embark with my wife on a year long motorcycle journey from San Francisco to Ushuaia, the southernmost city of Argentina. We crossed 14 borders, covered 32000 kilometers and made many friends along the way. A couple of months ago we decided it was finally time to get back to work. We began by updating our resumes and online portfolios before calling our friends in search of solid job leads. With such a long employment gap we figured it was only a matter of time before a wise recruiter started asking questions. Very...

What Trust is Made of

Some years ago I was hired by France Telecom to investigate the factors influencing trust between trading parties in online marketplaces. The caveat was that in those distant days there was no established marketplace to be studied. I therefore began my research by conducting qualitative interviews with France Telecom targeted audience, small business owners, providers of advertising services including radio stations, print shops and local newspapers. This was 2002 after all. What came out of that work is a very simple diagram that I found myself drawing and presenting frequently over the years to explain how most of us operate to...