Humaaans: Creative Commons Mix-&-match illustrations of people

humaaans.com is a lively little resource. And crazy that it’s free. The work of the seemingly polymathic Pablo Stanley, who is a Lead Designer at Invision, co-founder of carbonhealth.com, writes and illustrates thedesignteam.io, set up design workshops via sketchtogether.io (like the old Pair service we had at With Associates) and of course, he has a podcast. I can only assume he doesn’t have children, though no doubt if / when he does, he’ll produce awesome services and resources for them too.

calinbalea.ro: Perfect product designer website portfolio

Love it when designers user their entire portfolio site, to express and display their skills. Calin, at calinbalea.ro, does this in almost template like fashion. Concise front page descriptor, immediate and enticing portfolio scroll, clear and simple portfolio pages, skill signposting on the about page, that then goes as far as to highlight his timezone for remote working considerations, and a contact page that works for every form of contact you might want or need (again, including working hours and timezone considerations).

Final year students take note. Anyone building their portfolio take note.

The power of personas over target group segmentation

Further to my last post. A wonderfully concise example that I also pull out for students and clients from time to time. Wish I knew who the speaker was.

Truth In Advertising aka Conversations are actually just collections of internal monologues

Pretty sure I first saw The Truth in Advertising in 2001. Or some clips of it at least. They went viral via email, way before ‘going viral’ was a thing. Everyone had experienced similar meetings or professional conversations, so it resonated and stuck with me ever since. I’ve sought it down many times since then, when the memory was nudged, or a particular meeting felt comically familiar, but this recent memory reoccurrence came from a different source.

This time it’s off the back of two more months teaching broad UX practices at Kingston and Epsom. I’ve focused more heavily this year on the user first approach, which I’ve pushed under the requirement for students to empathise with their target audiences, and to write personas for them. The more I’ve pushed it, the more I’ve found myself describing and theorising about the hidden motives or feelings that influence the way that someone might act. I’ve explained that ‘A Student’ isn’t a persona. One could be nervous, another could be excited. One could be lazy and unengaged, another could be eager and over achieving.

‘You have to dig into the personalities, the motives, and the drives of an individual to properly understand them for insightful purposes’ I’ve said (heavily paraphrasing myself here!). And when students have, they’ve invariably ended up with properly delightful solutions. Some of which I’m hoping to share on here another time.

Anyway, all this deep diving into nuanced motives nudged The Truth of Advertising once again. It’s dated more since I last watched, but still it’s an enjoyable short, and insightful for forcing the idea that target audiences contain broad collections or personalities.

 

The Great Silence

In a galaxy as old and vast as the Milky Way, the probability of two civilisations stumbling upon one another by briefly screaming in random directions… is not great.

I love science videos like this on YouTube. Also, the above excerpt feels very Douglas Adams in nature. Like my favourite description of all time, from when the Vogons first appear around the Earth, in Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy:

The ships hung in the sky in much the same way that bricks don’t.

When you invent the plane you also invent the plane crash

When you invent the ship, you also invent the shipwreck; when you invent the plane you also invent the plane crash; and when you invent electricity, you invent electrocution. Every technology carries its own negativity, which is invented at the same time as technical progress.

Paul Virilio

Thanks, Ben Terrett for introducing me to this perspective. And congratulations to Ben for becoming the first Royal for Industry for Service Design. Read more about that here.