Don’t bore me. Try Something New. – Recapping of our time with renowned designer Owen Foster.

This week, renowned designer, Owen Foster, joined us for a special presentation to help kick-off a large-scale design project for a client. The co-founder of SHiFT and Aether Global Learning, shared insights on two key components of designing for user experience.

Empathy – Find the Invisible.

Speaking from a designer’s perspective, Foster emphasized that he and his team constantly reevaluate their thinking and try to find the invisible as a way to unlock transformational design. Most people only see what others have outlined for them. Designers are often the ones who “see” first, and then bring that vision out into the public sphere. According to Foster, the catalyst for finding the invisible is empathy. Try swapping jobs with someone in your company and walk a mile in their shoes. Or, ask a child how they see the world and accept what they say instead of what you already know.  

Rethink the Challenge

Foster also emphasized the need to rethink the challenge at the beginning of the design process as a way to open up new opportunities and possibilities for innovative design. One great example of this is Apple’s introduction of white earbuds. Up until that point, every other earbud on the market was black. By rethinking the earbud challenge, suddenly Apple become the rebel of technology and every designer had to have a Mac.

At the end of the day, Foster left us with this parting advice when it comes to designing for user experience. Get out of your own way. Get out of your own head. Allow yourself to be a kid again. Failure is encouraged, so don’t be afraid to try something new.

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