ITT | Piaget

Two weeks to starting the teaching experience with 2nd and 3rd grader.

The goal is to expose their young minds to challenges that encourage creative thinking and problem solving approaches.

To better prepare for my time with them, I look back at Piaget’s theory of cognitive development, and specifically to the Concrete Operational Stage. This is considered a major turning point in the child’s cognitive development, because it marks the beginning of logical or operational thought. The child is now mature enough to use logical thought or operations (i.e. rules) but can only apply logic to physical objects (hence concrete operational).

Children, around seven to eleven years of age, gain the abilities of conservation (number, area, volume, orientation) and reversibility. However, although children can solve problems in a logical fashion, they are typically not able to think abstractly or hypothetically.



Conservation is the understanding that something stays the same in quantity even though its appearance changes. To be more technical conservation is the ability to understand that redistributing material does not affect its mass, number, volume or length.



Classification is the ability to identify the properties of categories, to relate categories or classes to one another, and to use categorical information to solve problems. One component of classification skills is the ability to group objects according to some dimension that they share. The other ability is to order subgroups hierarchically, so that each new grouping will include all previous subgroups.



The cognitive operation of seriation involves the ability to mentally arrange items along a quantifiable dimension, such as height or weight.



Reversibility is an understanding or awareness that actions can be reversed. An example of this is being able to reverse the order of relationships between mental categories. For example, a child may be able to understand that her dog is a Great Dane, that a Great Dane is a dog, and that a dog is an animal.


ITT | How to get to KELC…

Wouldn’t it be nice if we could teach KELC to kids?

If the world would prepare youngsters to balance the weight of fast learning and quick results, with the ability to feel comfortable in failing and working together?

I am going to give it a try with my friend Lumi.

I emailed the elementary school where my child used to go, and proposed a class that reinforces Creative Thinking and Logic. They liked it, they invited us. We shared the idea. They gave us the job!

We went back, wrote a couple of Lesson’s Plans, sent them over, and before we knew, we were asked to start at next month Exploration classes.

We are on for three weeks, on Wednesdays, from 2:30 to 3:30 pm.

Here is the description of our class:

It is very exciting to see an idea take place and go through its own journey. Tomorrow we will go to IdentoGO Services for the fingerprinting process; after that, we’ll need to fill out few forms, get our TB test results and send everything to the school. Not too bad, considering that we already have the TB results from our employer.


ITT | The future is KELC

Kindness, Empathy, Logic, & Creativity, are the skills of the future.

I believe that these are the skills to build a brighter future for ourselves and our children; a world where we can treasure the collective intelligence and channel it into projects for the well being of our world.

It is already visible how the masses are using technology to help each other and the planet in ways that were unthinkable just a decade ago.

From forums where people share their knowledge to answer a variety of questions to unknown visitors; to crowdfunding campaigns that support innovations for someone else; to communities that enable anyone to build its own 3D-printable assistive device; we are in a time where more than ever we can join forces no matter where we live and who we are.

To protect the value of our collective intelligence and desire to share, we need to treasure our differences. This is where we need skills like KELC to help us understand, respect, reason, and find solutions with people who will be our colleagues, teachers, maker, etc. and live over the web-sea.

CX | Puzzle II

UX Puzzle .2

Compiling the methods used in my work with more examples from my research, I came up with a classification of the processes used in this field, and the areas where these can be used.

We know that the field of UX is broad, and it is not unusual to meet another UX Designer with skills or experiences completely different from our own. Some designers focus on the strategy, employing various UX methodologies to understand the value of an opportunity.

Others focus on the integration, bringing all touch-points under the same vision. (Service design)

Many focus on the design of interactions, solving those tedious repeatable steps into efficient time savers.

Some focus on the research, understanding user behaviors, needs, and motivations.

Whether we decide to focus on Strategy, Research, Journeying, Integration, Design, or Development, we have a variety of tools to help us through the journey.


ITT | Build Your Own App

We had a great time on Wednesday at Teen Tech Week at the WalnutCreek Library. The kids were amazing. Smart, capable, determined and very creative.

In our informal workshop, we teach teens how to turn their ideas into reality using the power of technology. The workshop moves through design, basic logic, experience and practice, to an end-product.

It was our first experiment with kids; young minds have a different way of assimilating info. I referred to many of my participatory-design techniques to spark their interest and encourage collaboration.


Here is the material I put together to lead the session:

Teachers | Script for us to guide session

Packet for kids in group A | What animal lover are you

Packet for kids in group B | What’s for dinner


Few Pictures:

CX | Puzzle I

For many years I have been reading about techniques, methods, and processes for working as an effective User Experience Leader.

Everyone has her system, some share similar techniques, some follow their instinct, while others create variations of mainstream processes.

But what are the key processes that inform the work of so many different types and styles of designers?

And, is it possible to create a master process that includes all these variations?

This is the journey I embarked on, when I started painting my wall with post-its.


Artificial intelligence (AI) has the power to turn good customer experiences into great experiences.

And, as odd as this may sound, developments in smart technologies are making the customer experience more human.

When used strategically, technology can be used to enhance human characteristics, to personalize and improve customer interactions, making them ‘more human’. Given the competitive environment we’re in, creating these hyper-human experiences is more important for businesses than ever before.

So what makes a good customer experience a great customer experience?

There are two key differences between a good customer experience and a great one:

1.   Empathy (with a good dose of serendipity thrown in)

2.   Ease of Use and privacy.


The capacity to understand or feel what another person is experiencing from within their frame of reference lifts CX from good to great. The individual customer is understood and met with an experience that not only fulfills their immediate needs, but their emotional needs as well.

The value of serendipity – the ability to surprise and delight – is another marker of a great experience.

The new battleground emerging around the future of customer experience is how you make your customers feel, think and act. While customers may not remember what you showed them or offered, they will remember how you made them feel.

Hence the emphasis on Empathy.

Now as to point Number Two.


A great digital experience is one that does not require you to think too much and respects privacy – and not just from a data perspective. We are overwhelmed with information, notifications and interactions. Great experiences are founded on knowing when to connect with customers and, more importantly, when not to connect. Customers need to feel supported, encouraged and enlightened; never overwhelmed.

CX | Opportunity Recognition Process

How do you come up with an idea?

All good opportunities begin with the customer. The entire idea generation process is iterative—at each step you learn, adjust, and refine. You start to understand the criteria that customers use in their purchase decisions and the pain points in building and delivering your product/service.

The first step is to gather stimuli—IDEO does it through customer anthropology. Simply, the team goes out and observes the customer in action in their natural environment and identifies their pain points. The team’s mission is to observe, to ask questions, and to record information. It is crucial to ask open-ended, not leading questions, and act as Dian Fossey observing mountain gorillas in Africa—just observe.

The next phase is to multiply stimuli. Team members report back on their findings and then start brainstorming on the concept and how to improve upon the solution. Techniques vary: the comedy improv process, and brain-writing can facilitate idea generation. The key is to keep adding to a previous idea by saying “Yes, and…” Then instead of publicly discussing the ideas, everyone votes on the three to five they like best.

Once you’ve narrowed the field to the idea and features you think have the most potential, the next step is to create customer concepts. This is a mock-up of what the product will look like at a high level; it doesn’t need to be functional, it is just a tool to solidify what everybody is visualizing and to help the team think through how the product should be modified.

AI | Authenticity?

This week I attended the Forrester CX conference at the Marriott Marquis, in SF.
With my mind still fresh with ideas, one thought, one deceptively simple thought, keeps circling back: Authenticity.

How will authenticity fit into this whole AI and machine learning , and what role, as a UX designer, am I supposed to play? What do I need to learn? How can I adapt to the changing landscape?

Will we teach empathy to the machines, or will they teach it to us?

Below are my notes from the event: