jon kolko @CMU


Last week Jon Kolko came through CMU to do a lecture for a very packed room of designers in both undergrad grad HCII and School of design programs.

While I do not believe he said anything new that would dramatically change the way i see design, he was exceptionally good at highlighting valuable points about how to present yourself as a designer and grasp the things one needs to focus on to fully succeed in your quest to become a better designer

*Here are some notes on his talk. (i plan to expand them into coherent paragraphs but, not just yet!

“Its never been a better time to be a designer ”

It no longer about making things pretty, well that’s obvious but why? Because people have understood that the problem is less specific and broad reaching. Its not about just making it pretty, it about competing, surpassing the competition and changing the world.

Former models include a set budget and a list of task oriented goals that need to be delivered, vs and exploration of how to see the vision of a company in the future. What do you give them… ? road maps, experience architecture, knowing how to shift companies as a massive entity. A problem like the turbochef, that deal with not just changing the paradigm of the look and feel, but the interface and ultimately the behaviors of the user who needs to understand the changes of cooking in less time.

Think broader about what design means, pragmatic solutions vs ecosystems.

There is more to design than usability. Its ok to sacrifice the usability if it delivers on the overall experience, how do we make it powerful to make it engaging and make you choose.

Can everything be one click away ( sprint ) where usability was the focus, but its about the magic behind it.

Behavioral shift of usability. We are not making things easy to use, but making things last longer.
How can technology improve the checkout process. How do you apply it in a high level store like prada.
World health day is a course of dreaming - dissemination of a message and people to connect, write stories to a website that get broadcast on times square.

Th HP touchsmart - help up make computing magical. - something that resonates something magic. How do you capture magic. wire framing . Visual design exercises, moved in to the shiny noir language , the magic comes from simulations. Manage the experience of a day to day feel like , the subtlety of how things change over time

Frog specified all of this stuff though code- xaml c# toolkit that you could - allow the dev team extend their work beyond frogs initial vision, rather than forcing the client to settle on that you hand them a partnership. Last longer than the software that ends up getting designed. how do you control the finite detail of those partnerships. Dreaming aesthetics, beauty poetry vision culture emotion behaviour passion humanity magic.

the subjectivity is intimidating , the higher up

123456 things that matter when applying for a job.
what separates me from the rest

Know your tools.
Your work is most constrained by the amount of time you have available. get faster at execution so you can spend more time thinking.

Know your methods
The names of the methods aren’t enough , you need to understand the underlying philosophical and psychological principles that make them work. You are a strategist, and intellectual, ( does it really matter? in the end ? )

Speak with confidence and passion
Your personality displays what you audience to feel. Energy is contagious: so is apathy

Show work YOU did
Team projects are great but make sure you include work that you can claims as yours-entirely

Frame the larger context
Don’t just tell what you did- explain why you did and why you learned.

Craft us really really important
Its all about details.Alignment font color spelling grammar tone composition.
We are getting taken more seriously.

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    I have attended some fairly cool lectures and talks while being in school, but perhaps one of the best ones so far was done by a woman named Mary Coleman. Mary is Senior Creative Development Executive at PIXAR Animation, and she was here as part of an invitation extended to her by a friend in the Drama Department. I being a fiendishly obsessed about Pixar, took this opportunity to see the strings behind the magic of one of my favorite companies...

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