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Beyond the Usual OKR approach

Since I first started writing about OKRs seven years ago, I have had a lot of companies reach out to me for advice. OKRs were originally envisioned to create focus on things that are important but not (yet) urgent. OKRs act as an accelerant on progress toward strategic efforts.

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Eisenhower Matrix

OKRs unify effort across a company and are especially powerful when used for change management. …


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Learn more about Device 6’s Design process https://www.artofthetitle.com/title/device-6/

CS247g: Introduction to Game Design

Design is a very ancient practice, but graphic design really found its core principles post World War One. Games are also very ancient but video games are still finding their feet. I think graphic design has a few things to teach people who make games, so here are the big concepts every graphic designer learns. You should learn them too!

First, studying graphic design is about building the skill to see things other people just accept. More importantly, it’s learning to see and name things ordinary people just are annoyed or repulsed by but can’t say why. …


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[image Jennifer Baer]

Welcome to ME120

I’m two weeks into transforming ME120, previously taught by Barry Katz as History and Philosophy of Design, into an active learning exploration of the relationship designers have had to ethics over the years. At the end of this quarter I plan to write up what I learned and what I’d change, but for now, in case any practicing designers want to “play along” I’ll share the course materials. Perhaps you can even create a virtual study group?

Syllabus

ME120 The History And Ethics of Design

Instructor: Christina Wodtke

CAs: Usman Khaliq, Stella Tu, Luke Liechty, Kris Mazurs
Meets: Asynchronously

Christina’s Office Hours: by appointment https://cwodtke.youcanbook.me/

Those who do not learn from history are doomed to repeat it. In this class we will examine the history of design, the challenges that designers over the ages have had to face and the ethical questions that have arisen from those choices. This class will explore a non-traditional view of design, looking at both the sung and unsung figures of history and question the choices they made, up to and including recent events in the Silicon Valley. This is a project class, so we will be making design works in response to the questions we unearth together. …


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Sketchnote by Tiffany Manuel. Hire her! https://tiffanymanuel.wordpress.com/portfolio/

This is my lecture for CS247g, Introduction to Game Design. It’s a lecture I first developed for conference workshops then re-purposed for both CCA and Stanford. I own the copyright but I have made is a share and attribute licence so you can reuse. It’s also my first go at this kind of lecturing (online with slides and drawing on Explain Everything), so please be kind!

If you want to “play along,” students learn how to sketchnote and will sketchnote all assignments. …


How do you avoid the slow waterfall of goals?

A draft of a chapter for Radical Focus 2.0. I write about high performing teams, check it out.

It’s probably my fault and I am sorry. But like Lean Startup, I experienced and worked with OKRs initially with startups. That meant cascading OKRs was reasonably simple and could be a true “cascade.” But this doesn’t scale AT ALL. And just as Lean had to adapt to enterprises wanting some of that speedy iterative goodness, OKRs need to adapt also.

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When the organization has only one or maybe two levels of hierarchy, a straight cascade might make sense. The executive team sets the company OKRs, then departments (product, marketing, sales) can set theirs. …


While Design Thinking gets all the attention, it is not the same as (Digital) Product Design.

In How I Stopped Worrying and Learned to Love Design Thinking, I wrote about how I learned to value design thinking and in Five Habits of Design Thinking I explain how you can build the skill of design thinking. But I’ve noticed my students tend to use the term “design thinking” as a synonym for UX/Digital Product Design. This is a dangerous smallification of design and a source of shoddy work.

This is not the complete design process.

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Laura Klein explains the depth of complexity of design by taking you through one example of a feature: a reporting flag. You put a simple comments feature on a children’s book seller site, and immediately you get spam. So you put up a reporting flag. What does it do? Does it remove the comment? What if people report comments they just disagree with, but aren’t offensive? Should go to someone in the company, or can you use an algorithm? What if there are hundreds of reports a day? Are you going to hire more people? Does it take three reports to disappear the offensive comment? Or something logarithmic? Do you build a tool to block certain spammers? Do you implement Akismet? How transparent are you about what gets you banned? …


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Kid, Me and Erin Malone

A post because people keep asking

Leave questions and I’ll update this post based on them!

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So, hey friend/friend of friend/somebody’s sister-in-law, I hear you plan to go to Belize. I get why you want to! The largest living barrier reef with amazing sea life, Caribbean islands with that blend of Mexican-meet-Caribbean cuisine, the safety (really, only one corner of Belize city has crime, and the rest is safe) the gorgeous weather, blue skies, the fact they speak English (former British colony). The Belizean dollar conversion is 2:1 so it feels like the entire place half off.

And I get why you are asking me, after all I live there sometimes, in my little cabana in the jungle. Although I might remind you I mostly go there, drink beer, swim, look at the water, read a book a day and go home. So I do not know everything about Belize, this is just stuff I like. …


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drawn by @cwodtke

When Common Sense is Not Enough

There are three thinking styles that have transformed how we develop new products today: Agile, Lean (Startup) and Design Thinking. Design Thinking is the least defined and most problematic to explain. Agile gets engineering to work iteratively in cadences rather than invest in a lot of upfront planning, only to execute a plan that may be wrong. Lean (Startup) is about running constant business experiments whose outcomes reduce risk.

Design Thinking is often explained in a tautological fashion: it’s how designers think. But what makes this different than ordinary thinking, or Agile or Lean approaches? …


From CS377g “Serious Games”

Slides were heavily informed by https://www.theindiegamereport.com/category/feature/rulebook-cookbook/ Please go read it!

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Educators: Find slides here ppt | pdf


From CS377g “Serious Games” and CS247i’s unit “Games for Understanding”

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Don’t make people memorize a rulebook. Use the game materials to hold information.
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This section is from Matt Leacock’s talk “Designing like an Onion” (not recorded, sadly)
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From “shitty first draft” to playable but not polished.
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So much iteration!
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That was a lot of tweaking.
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Patchwork on the right.
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Oh hai educators. Here are slides. pdf | ppt

Be nice! Attribute twice! (me and Matt)

About

Christina Wodtke

Designing business, and the business of design. www.eleganthack.com

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