Category: Design Thinking

Camas Lilies


by Lynn Ungar

Consider the lilies of the field,
the blue banks of camas opening
into acres of sky along the road.
Would the longing to lie down
and be washed by that beauty
abate if you knew their usefulness,
how the native ground their bulbs
for flour, how the settlers’ hogs
uprooted them, grunting in gleeful
oblivion as the flowers fell?

And you—what of your rushed
and useful life? Imagine setting it all down—
papers, plans, appointments, everything—
leaving only a note: “Gone
to the fields to be lovely. Be back
when I’m through blooming.”

Even now, unneeded and uneaten,
the camas lilies gaze out above the grass
from their tender blue eyes.
Even in sleep your life will shine.
Make no mistake. Of course
your work will always matter.
Yet Solomon in all his glory
was not arrayed like one of these.

#fedehndz #idocare4design

One Communication Tool You Should Add to Your Toolkit ~Stanford business


Want to provide better feedback, introduce people, or master small talk? Try this technique.

– Matt Abrahams

How many different communication actions do you engage in during a typical 15-minute stretch?

I asked my students and consulting clients in an informal poll, and the results surprised me. My “subjects” were engaging in up to five different types of communication actions in this short time period — and I wasn’t even counting texts or emails.

From answering questions to initiating small talk, from introducing people to each other to providing feedback, we all find ourselves needing to adeptly manage different types of communication. This nimbleness, when paired with social expectations of appropriateness and efficiency in our communication, can be quite daunting to even the most experienced.

Communication structures serve as scaffolding for our messages. They allow us easy starting points, transitions, and clear endings.
The key to managing these different types of communication is to leverage structures.

Communication structures serve as scaffolding for our messages. They allow us easy starting points, transitions, and clear endings. -Matt Abrahams

They help us to be concise and relevant. Finally, research evidence exists that structured information is more easily processed and remembered by our audiences.

While many structures exist, I have found one structure reigns supreme in applicability and simplicity: The “What? So what? Now what?” structure must be part of your communication toolkit.

This structure is logical and clear. Let me break it down:

First, define or describe your key ideas or arguments. Do so in a clear, concise manner devoid of jargon and flourishes. Ask yourself, “What are the critical few bits of information that I need to convey to maximize fidelity?”

So what?
This second part has you focusing on the relevance of your ideas or arguments to your audience. You must be sure to take your audience’s perspective into account. Remember, if you are to maximize fidelity and remembering, it’s less about what you want to say and more about what your audience needs to hear. Say to yourself: “The bottom line for you (my audience) is…”

Now what?
Finally, your last part highlights the thoughts, feelings, and actions you wish your audience to hold or enact. Be clear and direct in how you phrase these so as to reduce ambiguity. Be cognizant of the tone you use to convey this information. Your tone (e.g., sense of urgency, confidence, excitement, etc.) directly impacts your audience’s perception of both you and your message.

At the highest level, the “What? So what? Now what?” structure affords you cognitive bandwidth because it provides you with how you intend to convey your messages so you can focus on the specific details of what you wish to say. With practice, you can learn to manage the barrage of communication situations you face by deploying this Swiss Army Knife of communication structures.

How does this structure look in practice? Here are some ways you can employ this technique.

  • Q&A
    Questions are a great opportunity to deploy this structure. For example, imagine a job interview where you are asked: “Why are you qualified for this job?”

What? I have over 12 years of experience in customer-facing work addressing challenges such as migrating to new systems and implementing new processes.
So what? These previous experiences will help me provide your customers with high-quality results, while also assisting you to streamline your deployment process.
Now what? I’m happy to have you discuss my qualifications with some of my former clients.

  • Feedback
    I often coach clients who need to provide constructive feedback to leverage this structure. For example, you have a colleague who failed to complete his report on time.

What? I’ve noticed that your report was not submitted within our agreed upon timeframe.
So what? This puts us at a disadvantage for practicing our pitch and might jeopardize our client meeting.
Now what? I need for you to complete this report by tomorrow morning. Please let me know what I can do to assist you.

  • Introducing Something or Someone
    Introductions can often ramble and confuse. Using this structure can help you be clear and set expectations for what is to come.

Introducing Something
What? I am excited to introduce the latest version of our product. In this release we’ve added many usability enhancements and improved our speed.
So what? Now our clients can more easily complete their tasks and save time and money.
Now what? When you leave this conference session, please install it today.

Introducing Someone
What? I am honored to introduce Dr. Jonas Smith, who is here to discuss her insights into game theory.
So what? Her work has changed the way many people go about making daily decisions. I am certain you will think differently when you leave here tonight.
Now what? Without further ado, join me in welcoming Dr. Smith.

Making Small Talk
Many of us struggle to engage in small talk, especially with people we don’t know well. This structure can help you to engage and sustain initial conversations. Simply use the three questions to get your targets to express themselves.

  • What? What do you know about the latest attempt to reduce energy consumption?
    So what? Why do you think it is so important to reduce energy?
    Now what? What can I do to help reduce my energy use?

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#idocare4design #fedehndz


El tiempo sabe


El tiempo es inconsciente de lo que tu crees que pasa o ha pasado.
El tiempo es consciente sólo de su propio tiempo.
El tiempo sabe de tiempo, sabe del espacio que ocupa.
De tu tiempo sólo tú sabes.

– Federico Hernández Ruiz.    Diciembre 2016

#idocare4design #fedehndz #decemberthoughts

De que nada se sabe


La luna ignora que es tranquila y clara

y ni siquiera sabe que es la luna;
la arena, que es la arena. No habrá una
cosa que sepa que su forma es rara.

Las piezas de marfil son tan ajenas
al abstracto ajedrez como la mano
que las rige. Quizá el destino humano
de breves dichas y de largas penas

es instrumento de otro. Lo ignoramos;
darle nombre de Dios no nos ayuda.
Vanos también son el temor, la duda

y la trunca plegaria que iniciamos.
¿Qué arco habrá arrojado esta saeta
que soy? ¿Qué cumbre puede ser la meta?

– Jorge Luis Borges

#fedehndz #idocare4design

La palabra


Un gran regalo de este año, fue el diseño de una de las identidades que más he disfrutado. Sobre todo por la riqueza encontrada, por los muchos pretextos que funcionaron como guía para descubrirla. No fue creada, me fue revelada. Ahí estaba desde hace mucho. Solo le dimos un uso de los múltiples que tiene.

Aquí este texto de Pablo Neruda acerca de la palabra.

– Pablo Neruda. De Confieso que he vivido

“Todo lo que usted quiera, sí señor, pero son las palabras las que cantan, las que suben y bajan… Me prosterno ante ellas… Las amo, las adhiero, las persigo, las muerdo, las derrito… Amo tanto las palabras…

Las inesperadas… Las que glotonamente se esperan, se acechan, hasta que de pronto caen… Vocablos amados… Brillan como perlas de colores, saltan como platinados peces, son espuma, hilo, metal, rocío… Persigo algunas palabras… Son tan hermosas que las quiero poner todas en mi poema… Las agarro al vuelo, cuando van zumbando, y las atrapo, las limpio, las pelo, me preparo frente al plato, las siento cristalinas, vibrantes ebúrneas, vegetales, aceitosas, como frutas, como algas, como ágatas, como aceitunas… Y entonces las revuelvo, las agito, me las bebo, me las zampo, las trituro, las emperejilo, las liberto… Las dejo como estalactitas en mi poema, como pedacitos de madera bruñida, como carbón, como restos de naufragio, regalos de la ola… Todo está en la palabra… Una idea entera se cambia porque una palabra se trasladó de sitio, o porque otra se sentó como una reinita adentro de una frase que no la esperaba y que le obedeció. Tienen sombra, transparencia, peso, plumas, pelos, tienen de todo lo que se les fue agregando de tanto rodar por el río, de tanto transmigrar de patria, de tanto ser raíces… Son antiquísimas y recientísimas… Viven en el féretro escondido y en la flor apenas comenzada… Qué buen idioma el mío, qué buena lengua heredamos de los conquistadores torvos… Estos andaban a zancadas por las tremendas cordilleras, por las Américas encrespadas, buscando patatas, butifarras, frijolitos, tabaco negro, oro, maíz, huevos fritos, con aquel apetito voraz que nunca más se ha visto en el mundo… Todo se lo tragaban, con religiones, pirámides, tribus, idolatrías iguales a las que ellos traían en sus grandes bolsas… Por donde pasaban quedaba arrasada la tierra… Pero a los bárbaros se les caían de la tierra de las barbas, de las herraduras, como piedrecitas, las palabras luminosas que se quedaron aquí resplandecientes… el idioma. Salimos perdiendo… Salimos ganando… Se llevaron el oro y nos dejaron el oro… Se lo llevaron todo y nos dejaron todo… Nos dejaron las palabras.”

#fedehndz #idocare4design #amimeimporta #identidad #México

Diseño de experiencias


Reflexiones compartidas para el Laboratorio de Diseño Integral de Sistemas de la Información. UAM Santa Fé

Hace tiempo que me tope con el libro de Ellen y Julia Lupton, Diseña tu vida, en el conocí la pregunta “Qué te permite”. A través de una graciosa lectura, viví las primeras descripciones sobre nuestras interacciones con objetos de la vida diaria desde ese punto de vista nuevo. No se trata de usar el objeto como esta diseñado para ser usado, si no ver al objeto como ese medio que me permite hacer tantas otras cosas.

El encuentro en mi caso, con las posibilidades del diseño, han estado mucho más tiempo relacionadas con necesidades comerciales y eso me ha enseñado que vender esta lleno de posibilidades para el diseño. Afortunadamente el mundo está girando a gran velocidad y ustedes ahora cuentan con otros recursos, ahora cuentan con más experiencias de las que podrán capitalizar.

Con ese fin les comparto una selección de episodios de un programa que escucho con mucha frecuencia y hace ya años. Se llama 99% Invisible. Visítenlo y sobre todo, les recomiendo escuchen la selección que he hecho para ustedes. Estoy seguro que encontrarán ideas, principios y puntos de vista sobre temas que ya conocen y otros de los que no se imaginaban. Agregue un par de vínculos adicionales pero la verdad es que cada Podcast y sus ligas, ya contienen suficientes referencias para que ustedes tengan una buena inmersión en el.

Hay tres episodios que me parecieron los más relevantes.

Las interfaces gráficas futuristas en su mayoría son azules.

En 10 mil años 

Si hay tantos letreros que dicen que no entres, entonces debe ser un gran lugar.

Hay muchos otros que podrán disfrutar, aquí sus ligas:

Suerte y quedo atento a sus propuestas.


Federico Hernández Ruiz
Artist, Photographer, Designer &  Consultant

I am passionate about identity; either as a concept, an expression or characteristic shared
by all things. I’m passionate to discover its expressions and find what triggers the best of each.

#fedehndz #idocare4design #idocare4 #federico #Hernandez-Ruiz #LaboratoriodeDiseñoIntegraldeSistemasdelaInformación (Nora)

The VIA Classification of Character Strengths & Virtues ~VIA Institute of Character Strenghth


For a long time, I have been following Martin Seligman approach to Positive Psychology. For the record, my last VIA survey update on Character Top Strengths was: Fairness, equity, and justice. Try it

For me, it has become one of the tools that I use to review my path, the areas to which I have evolved organically and others that have been increased by my personal choice.

Here I’m sharing you this post from the VIA Institute. A great one and a good place also to start. Take the test. “Discover your best qualities”

For another great source go to:

Wishing you a great journey. Either if you are growing your intelligence or helping others to develope. Enjoy it.

The VIA Classification of Character Strengths & Virtues

1. Wisdom and Knowledge – Cognitive strengths that entail the acquisition and use of knowledge

Creativity [originality, ingenuity]: Thinking of novel and productive ways to conceptualize and do things; includes artistic achievement but is not limited to it

Curiosity [interest, novelty-seeking, openness to experience]: Taking an interest in ongoing experience for its own sake; finding subjects and topics fascinating; exploring and discovering

Judgment [critical thinking]: Thinking things through and examining them from all sides; not jumping to conclusions; being able to change one’s mind in light of evidence; weighing all evidence fairly

Love of Learning: Mastering new skills, topics, and bodies of knowledge, whether on one’s own or formally; obviously related to the strength of curiosity but goes beyond it to describe the tendency to add systematically to what one knows

Perspective [wisdom]: Being able to provide wise counsel to others; having ways of looking at the world that make sense to oneself and to other people

2. Courage – Emotional strengths that involve the exercise of will to accomplish goals in the face of opposition, external or internal

Bravery [valor]: Not shrinking from threat, challenge, difficulty, or pain; speaking up for what is right even if there is opposition; acting on convictions even if unpopular; includes physical bravery but is not limited to it

Perseverance [persistence, industriousness]: Finishing what one starts; persisting in a course of action in spite of obstacles; “getting it out the door”; taking pleasure in completing tasks

Honesty [authenticity, integrity]: Speaking the truth but more broadly presenting oneself in a genuine way and acting in a sincere way; being without pretense; taking responsibility for one’s feelings and actions

Zest [vitality, enthusiasm, vigor, energy]: Approaching life with excitement and energy; not doing things halfway or halfheartedly; living life as an adventure; feeling alive and activated

3. Humanity – Interpersonal strengths that involve tending and befriending others

Love: Valuing close relations with others, in particular those in which sharing and caring are reciprocated; being close to people

Kindness [generosity, nurturance, care, compassion, altruistic love, “niceness”]: Doing favors and good deeds for others; helping them; taking care of them

Social Intelligence [emotional intelligence, personal intelligence]: Being aware of the motives and feelings of other people and oneself; knowing what to do to fit into different social situations; knowing what makes other people tick

  4. Justice – Civic strengths that underlie healthy community life

Teamwork [citizenship, social responsibility, loyalty]: Working well as a member of a group or team; being loyal to the group; doing one’s share

Fairness: Treating all people the same according to notions of fairness and justice; not letting personal feelings bias decisions about others; giving everyone a fair chance.

Leadership: Encouraging a group of which one is a member to get things done, and at the same time maintaining good relations within the group; organizing group activities and seeing that they happen.

5. Temperance- Strengths that protect against excess

Forgiveness: Forgiving those who have done wrong; accepting the shortcomings of others; giving people a second chance; not being vengeful

Humility:  Letting one’s accomplishments speak for themselves; not regarding oneself as more special than one is

Prudence: Being careful about one’s choices; not taking undue risks; not saying or doing things that might later be regretted

Self-Regulation [self-control]: Regulating what one feels and does; being disciplined; controlling one’s appetites and emotions

 6. Transcendence – Strengths that forge connections to the larger universe and provide meaning

Appreciation of Beauty and Excellence [awe,wonder, elevation]: Noticing and appreciating beauty, excellence, and/or skilled performance in various domains of life, from nature to art to mathematics to science to everyday experience

Gratitude: Being aware of and thankful for the good things that happen; taking time to express thanks

Hope [optimism, future-mindedness, future orientation]: Expecting the best in the future and working to achieve it; believing that a good future is something that can be brought about

Humor [playfulness]: Liking to laugh and tease; bringing smiles to other people; seeing the light side; making (not necessarily telling) jokes

Spirituality [faith, purpose]: Having coherent beliefs about the higher purpose and meaning of the universe; knowing where one fits within the larger scheme; having beliefs about the meaning of life that shape conduct and provide comfort

© 2004-2016 VIA® Institute on Character; All Rights Reserved

  • Peterson, C., & Seligman, M. E. P. (2004). Character strengths and virtues: A handbook and classification. New York: Oxford University Press and Washington, DC: American Psychological Association.

#fedehndz #idocare4design #federico #Hernandez-Ruiz