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#20 Experience is what you get when you don't get what you want.
Thinking better and designing for the right experience
Wes Kao defines rigorous thinking as “thinking as asking critical questions about tactics, and having a systematic way of making decisions”.
She suggests leaders use this to make their team smarter and sharper at whatever they do. She shares some questions that encourage rigorous thinking. Here're some of the useful ones:
“This is a great start. How do you see this working?”
“Who is this for?”
“What's the hard part?”
“What would success look like?”
“What constraints are we working within?"
“If we decided to move forward with this today, what would you need to make it happen?”
As you notice, this approach is a fair play of the Socratic method. It needs patience and a lot of practice before you start getting the desired result. But like any other skill-building, the impact can be long-lasting.
Next time when a team member proposes a new idea, see if sharing just tactical feedback is the right choice. You might want to invest in building better decision making. But that's for a little while later. For now, let's quickly jump to today's recommendation and feed to some of your curiosity.
Did you know that you can buy a lot of trash can-related merchandise at Disney parks? There are highlighters, Christmas ornaments, model kits, salt & pepper shakers and more - all themed on their famous trash cans.
How did such an ignored aspect of a public space become an object of interest? Very simple - you put the Disney magic into it! Trash cans in Disney parks are not just built for utility but to fit well to the beauty and experience of the place. This post shares some cool insights about their design and placements in those parks. A good read to learn a thing or two about how to create even the most mundane things memorable.
But like any other tool, design’s real impact boils down to the problem we’re trying to solve. The approach taken is all too prone to the intention & skills of those in charge. This post describes various ways city planners & designers across the world have used to make public spaces unusable and unappealing. Their problems are real, but the solution does not seem to be errorproof (outrightly crazy in some cases).
It’s worth investing in knowing your real enemy and choosing the battle properly. Your solution & its success depends on it.
Even the most creative ventures out there have some simple formulae. Vox had shared this in 2016, not sure if there is any update since then. But one quick look and it does give so many ‘aha’ moments.
Pic credit: Vox.com
Some of you might already be using it. If not, then you've to give it a shot. This nice little WhatsApp trick has become one of the best bookmarking & notes tools for me. It's free, lightweight, simple and effective. The last part is very important.
I keep saving the important notes & links for this newsletter in my 'Stay Curious' group. It has made the final curation stage very fast and efficient. I've got another group for useful references (blogs, videos etc) on a variety of topics. Whenever I need it, my references is just a couple of clicks & one quick search away.
Some random goodness from the internet:
Twitter thread: Many everyday objects have a detailed technical and psychological design rationale behind them. We accept them as they are without thinking or asking a few 'why’. Trung Phan covered 14 examples from around us in this short thread.
Twitter thread: I have spoken about ‘The Last Lecture’ in an earlier post as well. If you’ve not been able to find the 75 mins to see this lecture, you can read this short thread. It covers 12 key takeaways from the book based on the same event. Actually, do watch the video even after reading this summary. If nothing else, you will witness world-class storytelling.
Youtube: Mountain biking at ‘Beyond Expert’ level.
Before we sign off, here's a snapshot of a tweet worth saving.
That's all for this week, folks!
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PS: Today's post is grade 5 as per https://hemingwayapp.com/