In a world where everyone is working on Agile mode, I wonder if the methodology is really delivering its promise. Is it really always helping us design better products and experiences ? Where can it hinder us and why ?

Adopting the Scaled Agile Framework, or SAFe, can be tricky, and some parts more so than others. To clarify from the start, I'm not against the methodology, by writing this I'm trying to shed a light about what works, what doesn't, and when does the framework get distorted.

1. The four team topologies:

Stream-aligned team — organized around the flow of work and has the ability to deliver value directly to the customer or end user.

Complicated subsystem team — organized around specific subsystems that require deep specialty skills and expertise.

Platform team — organized around the development and support…

The breakdown of what lies in a successful design

We are designers. We create products and services that serve as mediums for people to perform tasks while trying to make the experience enjoyable. We repeat this phrase over and over whenever someone asks about what we do, but do we actually know what this means ? Are we really conscious of the inner workings of the psychology of the receiver and how the construction of the journey affects it and the experience? And what do we understand by "experience" ?

The usual separation made by philosophers and psychologists is experience vs. nature, where nature takes an objective connotation and…

The logic behind visual choices

More often than not, we hear people or clients talking about "making things prettier", or that an app is old, ugly, not aesthetically pleasing and that the app needs to change. At first, the word pretty or "more aesthetically pleasing"might be felt by non-designers as something superfluous, "doing make up"and not touching systems profoundly enough, but this could not be further from the truth.

John Dewey, in his book "Art as an experience", describes aesthetics and emotion as a key ingredient to be able to construct experiences. No thinking being can devote himself to reflect (and consequently do) if he…

Systems thinking should not give you a headache. Here's the step by step process with examples.

Step 1: Figure out what type of problem you are dealing with. There are two types of problems, clock and cloud. To use systems thinking, you should be solving cloud problems. The two following definitions will help you classify your problem into one of these categories.

How a workshop that "turned wrong" helped me learn more about myself and helping people ground their ideas.

Sometimes, even though we plan everything to the last minimum detail, the unexpected can sweep in and force you to rethink your whole strategy, and this is exactly what happened to me while doing my first week-long workshop in a foreign country.

It is hard to take into account the unknown, how to manage cultural differences, how to be precise in another language (even if you know it very well). As there are no formulas for success, I'll just be clear into what went wrong, and how to adapt.

First mistake: I planned everything to the last little detail. Usually…

Image: Cyril Foiret

As designers, we make decisions and create solutions that greatly impact how people live their lives and behave.

We often talk about what is morally correct, what is ethically correct, but we use these words interchangeably without actually knowing the difference. Morality focuses on an absolute right and wrong, it describes what it is forbidden or permitted for us to do, which depends on the era or social context. Ethics on the other hand is the fundamental thought of what it means to act well, which means that ethics does not say what is right or wrong, rather it shows…

Two men trying to talk to each other with megaphones
Two men trying to talk to each other with megaphones

Lots of design firms have design principles. They take their time to make them, discuss them, and find the exact words to reflect and convey the perfect design intentions, but do we really use design principles while designing? for example, if we used the principle of economically viable, or desirable, do we actually think about these things while placing a button, a call to action, or think about our UX writing phrasing in this way?

This is a problem with principles, they are often in a form that is not helpful, creating big overarching statements that feel more like commandments…

Rubiks cube
Rubiks cube

As designers, we love to co-create. We believe that including others and their perspective enriches everything we do, which is in principle, true. But are we doing this correctly? Are we framing our method an understanding it as we should?

  1. Co-creating is not necessarily Co-designing

Creation of input is not designing a product or service, these are two different stages, done with different people. What we usually forget as designers is that we have the methodology and tools to get the knowledge we need to be able to shape our product/service later. We will never have the depth of knowledge…

Where to start?

Whenever someone talks about organizational culture people immediately picture different things: How people work, what activities are done to help team building, what processes exist or how space, artifacts and values shape what we do and how we think. Within all of these areas of influence, there are always values and competing values that will shape an organization for the better, or for the worst.

Kim Cameron describes a simple framework to be able to understand what spheres of influence we need to pay attention too and which competing forces exist between them. There are basically four quadrants which focus…

Translating useful information into actionable steps and valuable experiences through two simple considerations.

After talking to several Product designers, the problem of translation of insight into product design to create value and emotion seemed to be quite challenging, so I started to think about how to do this translation more effective by reflecting about my own process and making it conscious:

  1. Think about what behavior you want to change or encourage in users, not only about product features or requirements.

The first step to avoid this, is to link behavioral outcomes to product requirements and specific interactions. If you are making a banking app and one of the requirements is to show expenses…

Camille Oudinot

Senior Strategic designer, passionate about design and creativity applied to Service Design, UX and Strategy. (Paris/Argentina)

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