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Choosing where you want to work?

26 May

Love this perspective on work, creativity, and making things happen from Tina Seelig. (Author of What I Wish I Knew When I Was 20)

“We couldn’t be more different, except for our shared values. And that makes working together enjoyable.”

So true… look for people, teams, companies who share your values. What you create together will mean more to you.

What’s important to you?


Get out of the cube for new ideas

23 Jan Visiting CCA

Five of us from our design team went to the Bill Moggridge lecture at the California College of the Arts San Francisco campus last night. A great opportunity: the lecture was the inaugural event to kick off the new program in Interaction Design that will be offered at CCA beginning next year. Moggridge was a founder of IDEO and one of the original champions of user-centered design and interaction design as a discipline,  and now directs the Cooper Hewitt national design museum in New York.

Continue reading

Telling your story together builds a team

6 Dec

Like many who blog occasionally, I have lots of half-baked posts that somehow never get completed. This post has been sitting in draft for months. Even though the original team I was writing about was reorganized, I wanted to wrap and publish it anyway. I learned so much about — and from — everyone involved in the project. So it’s very much rear view mirror now, but I hope to have the opportunity to leverage something similar in future.

Way back then… (a few months ago :-)… I wrote it up with this lead: Our web services and strategy team rocks! Continue reading

Friends in all the right places

28 Jul

Our work on the War Hall is getting noticed in all the right places! Martin Hardee wrote us up in the Cisco web experience blog yesterday… I guess showing off work on the wall is a growing practice across Cisco. Come on over and visit us in person! 10am for the daily standup.

CSG web serices design team War Hall

Design mojo nailed

23 Jul Final design standards posted on the wall

Progress on the war hall yesterday: we posted our website templates and styles which are the basis of all other work on the new site design. This gives us the opportunity to continue to review page and component designs as they come together and make sure we’re leveraging the existing styles for evolving work. We did a mid-day synch up at the wall to discuss this and how to build on this initial set going forward. For instance, we determined we have enough work done to add in form standards and styles next. One ‘aha’ we had was that reviewing and aligning with styles and standards is going to be very important going forward, especially when we’re looking at developed work in staging.

We decided to set aside an allocated day each week for the entire design team to review and assess together how it’s all coming together, and provide feedback on development as well as tweek any design work in progress.

All pigs and chickens welcome!

21 Jul Mojo in progress

Today in our weekly open house we discussed the agile, kinda “scrummy” process the team is using to design the new site. We’re extending an open invitation to others to attend our daily standup at the war hall (daily 15 minutes of fame 🙂 ).

War Hall

War Hall

Looks like some folks might take us up on it and join in! But one question was whether we were doing pigs and chickens.
Now, I’d never heard of pigs and chickens… but apparently, in scrum, there’s the concept of pigs and chickens!

Pigs are the active participants doing the work, and the chickens are the other people who attend. I guess in some models the pigs are the only people who can talk, and the chickens have to shut up.

But I hope we’ll be able to have people attend, and listen during the working standup, but then have time following when we can discuss and listen to others who are interested in the work as well.

More attention on stitching it all together, getting the details right, and making the site as good as we can for launch!

Why we have a 4.0 War Hall

17 Jul

We couldn’t get a war room here for our marathon project — redesigning and launching a new web presence on and other global sites on a tight timeframe. So we went ahead and used our magnetized wall on the 11th floor to post printouts of all our work in progress, charts of work to be done (and done!), the top goals for the site launch, and important style references as the work evolves. We hold our daily scrum meetings there to get together, see what we’ll be working on that day, decide next steps and how we might get any issues that might have come up solved.

This has been great! The aim of this way of working is not perfection (as in immediate perfection), but visibility into how we’re all designing, writing, developing, managing and working together. It gives us all a visual reference for the large body of work coming together. We have a place for the team (and others) to do quick standups to talk about our work over the course of the day. And it gives us all a real sense of accomplishment and presents the work as what it is…  co-creation by a core team with inputs from lots of others across our business.

Just noticed this tip on the 99percent blog (a favorite) that pretty much validates this approach for a team. Being able to see your progress is just as important to a design team as capturing your ideas and what you hope to accomplish.

Our war hall is also available virtually on foursquare. Visit us and check in! 🙂