About being sensible

Missives from Hothouse Design

To think like a designer first learn to think past other people's ideas

Deirdre Wilson – Monday, March 05, 2018   

There is a lot of interest in design thinking at the moment. I wish it were an interest in thinking without the design part. The prerequisite for design thinking is to be able to think for yourself, so getting 'thinking' nailed is a good start but not as sexy as 'design thinking'.   Read More . . .

Why thinking about horse trousers is good for you

Deirdre Wilson – Monday, February 26, 2018   

Ideas and their crazed, unrealistic cousins – the plans, are the important outcome of creative thinking. They are the product of fertile imagination and are vital to generating and exploring beyond the obvious. Without them we would still be getting about draped in dead animals and squatting to eat with our hands.   Read More . . .

To think like a designer you need to be more curious

Edmond Lo – Monday, February 19, 2018   

If you want to be more creative you need to start thinking like a designer. Warning: the people around you might find you annoying because you will be asking a lot of questions.   Read More . . .

Killing butterflies is necessary to uncover the best ideas

Edmond Lo – Tuesday, February 06, 2018   

Coming up with ideas is the easiest thing on earth. Putting them down is the hardest.
Rod Serling   Read More . . .

Beware over reliance on tools

Deirdre Wilson – Tuesday, July 18, 2017   

Beware over reliance on toolsTools of all sorts are being sold to us as the latest desirable purchase. The latest time-waster to plague meetings is the chorus of competing suggestions for new tools that happens whenever someone mentions a problem.   Read More . . .

Think like a designer and stop solving problems that don't exist

Deirdre Wilson – Monday, May 22, 2017   

Good ideas come from following a design processAre you annoyed by ‘ideas people’? Every time I hear someone described as an ‘ideas person’ I hear ‘loose cannon’. It is so much worse when someone tells me that they are an ideas person because I have to try and keep a straight face and not say something rude. As a designer I find it as annoying as having design described as that ‘arty-farty’ stuff.   Read More . . .

Bad design traps people in low value work

Deirdre Wilson – Monday, May 15, 2017   

Bad design costs companies moneyThis is a story about a piece of ill-considered graphic design that created low value work, added cost and produced waste. The waste caused by poor design is much greater than just piles of printed rubbish, it extends all the way through to demotivating high value staff with low value tasks.   Read More . . .

How unfettered creativity makes you look stupid

Deirdre Wilson – Monday, May 01, 2017   

Use the visual language that matches your audienceI found the example for this post on a blog from a company that was all about providing the mechanism for you to explain stuff to your audience. I am not going to reveal where I found it because that is just pointing the finger at someone’s poor performance.   Read More . . .

How using schematics facilitates better decision making

Deirdre Wilson – Tuesday, April 12, 2016   

Everyone has experienced the destructive nature of 'decisions made in isolation'. It is usually abundantly clear to those affected by these terrible decisions that there was an absence of facts, information and understanding in the decision making process. When the decisions are about a system, there is an easy way to make that decision making process much better. Schematics are the type of diagrams that provide information about how a system works. They are an invaluable tool for turning information about how a system works into understanding because they put information in context.   Read More . . .

Being patient - adding experience to information

Deirdre Wilson – Tuesday, April 05, 2016   

At Hothouse Design we have a diagram that describes the process of turning data into wisdom. We didn't invent this process but it resonates for us because it mimics our experience and it explains the process of turning data into wisdom is a very succinct way. In this process, information turns into knowledge once you add experience to the mix.    Read More . . .


Basics. Know what they are. Get them right. Repeat.

About being sensible.

Tools we use