We've seen projects that move from initial assignment straight into problem-solving, and then immediately into budget writing.
That rarely ends well.

Instead, bring out the energy of creative confidence, innovation, insight, and focus on your team to start with solution 2.0.

We can apply the design thinking process in whole or part -- quickly exploring the context, finding patterns, pinning down the key problem, ideating, testing ideas.

Look at a problem as if it were a puzzle. Enjoy brainstorming, and end on a simple out-of-the-box solution.


What are some things that fascinate you about your current or upcoming project?


Read a teacher's insights from spending two days shadowing students, exploring context. 

Learn about redefining the problem from Dartmouth.

>> Get momentum!

What does honesty mean?

Or rather, what does it look like? We all want to name honesty as a value -- after all, we don't want to be lied to -- but what is it in practice. A way or time to be completely open? A welcoming of critique? A careful forgiveness for apologies?

Culture is what attracts the right fit and what energises people when they walk in.

Culture decreases turnover, and ups motivation, trust, and respect. 

Transplanting a habit rarely goes well. Design the culture and values together.


What's a culture or habit that you like? What do you like about it, or what values does it make tangible?


Watch a lecture from Airbnb, Zappos, Stanford, and YCombinator on culture.

Gain insight with tools: Five Dysfunctions of a Team.

>> Get momentum!

We often procrastinate on the important things in order to do the urgent ones.

Take time to step back, reflect, evaluate, and create your action plan.

Work powerfully. 

Whether you've come up with so many ideas and so much research you don't know where to start, or you know that you have to do but not how to do it, we can dissect it all and reassemble. 

We'll look at the external factors as well -- the space, distraction, motivation, logistics, and move from default to design.


What are the most urgent things on your plate? What important thing are they keeping you from?


Try a couple things from this great list of 100 time, energy attention (productivity) hacks.

>> Get momentum!

Design focuses on being flowing and intuitive to the specific person using it.

It can guide, predict, interact, or delight. 

It can confuse, frustrate, and shun.

With a pain point spotted, a bottleneck noticed, a conversion rate slowing, or a complete remodelling planned, it's best to get new perspectives from potential users and complete outsiders. 

Let's dig into the experience, starting from the people -- how do they learn, interact, become attracted -- to messaging in their words, to focusing on the flow of action.


For each screen, what is the action the user wants to do most? How can they do it?


Read Beyond Wireframing: The Real Life UX Design Process for context and tools.

Try my worksheet for your next UX redesign or tweak.

>> Get momentum!

Some goals energise. Others become dreaded to-lists or areas of frustration.

You want focus. More investment and drive. More energy. Then design your objectives and key results together.

The objective gives a general, qualitative direction, while the key results are metrics -- a unique number or yes/no question.

You'll get everyone on the same page.

But watch out, this is not a weapon. It is a place to start discussing strengths, as well as oversights or learning opportunities in failure.


What's a number you've been watching for a while? What do you value about it, or what do you interpret it as?


Watch a lecture on how Google sets Objectives and Key Results.

Read blog post This is Why People Leave Your Company.

>> Get momentum!

Feedback is dreaded on both sides.

Both by givers and receivers.

Done well, feedback is actionable, comforting, empowering, and insightful.

How do we get there?

Let's check in with what we want to say, what we really mean, and dissect stories.

Let's clarify and digest the feedback we've received, reframe and make actionable.

Let's redesign feedback sessions or forms to create ease and usefulness for both sides, really savoring the raw insight here.


What is a question asked on annual reviews or general forms that has irritated you? What would make it useful?


Read Thank You for the Feedback by Stone on how to receive feedback. 

See this article on This is Why People Leave Your Company.

>> Get momentum!

The brands and companies that resonate with us represent something outside of what they do.

These companies make us feel a certain kind of powerful, happy, affluent, loved. 

At every touch point, every interaction, word, image, page, error message, email signature, etc is an opportunity to echo what you stand for.

There's a lot to do. So how do you focus? Consider the number of eyes, amount of time, intensity of emotion at those points, and redesign the experience!


What do you want people to feel and think when they see or represent your brand?


Follow Little Big Details for examples of details showing your care and understanding of your customers.

>> Get momentum!

How do you know what you know?

We all know about a product that launched to the wrong audience in the wrong words, people solving a problem that noone would pay to solve, or a strategy that had the opposite effect.

Launch a new product or program that's more effective with no delay in timeline!

How? Prove, disprove, and gain insights by creating big picture low-fidelity testers.

See how a test customer interacts and improve before even launching.


What's an A/B test you can run on that button or that headline? 


Read an introduction on how to design an experiment.

Learn from Kevin Hale, YC Partner, on how to build products users love.

>> Get momentum!