Think Blog

Design ideas, wit, and wisdom from Think Brownstone.

Presenting a Design Concept? Facilitate a Conversation Instead

Several months ago, my design lead Chris and I met early at the studio ready to start our day. We situated our workstations, spent a bit of time recapping the week, and took an assessment of what was on deck for the morning. As we reflected a bit on some of the conversations with our stakeholders, Chris spoke at length to the notion of being a facilitator versus being a presenter. As experience designers consulting for other companies and organizations, we are tasked to achieve specific goals and deliverables. As such, we are in the unique position to also foster and … Read more of the post Presenting a Design Concept? Facilitate a Conversation Instead

Build Kits: Not Just for Building Your Web Site

For as long as I can remember working with teams on the web, I’ve been a big proponent of developing style guides and code pattern libraries as part of any web project. A style guide, for those not familiar, is a deliverable created by designers to lay out the design patterns and rules for the project. The pattern library is the translation of that design language into code for the use of developers and software engineers (some folks consider code libraries to be part and parcel of “living” style guides; I agree and call out each one for clarity here). At … Read more of the post Build Kits: Not Just for Building Your Web Site

Working Remotely: An Honest Reflection, Tips, & Tools

Last August, my wife and I made an insane life decision to hit the road for the West Coast. We hit a wall where we were feeling stale in our routines back East, so we did what every other person does in that situation—a cross country drive to California with our cats in tow. Since then and along the way, I’ve been working remotely for Think Brownstone. I’ve spent 9 months away from the hive, on my own. A lone wolf you might say, or more a “Renegade”—a drifter with a purpose. I find some wifi, sign on, log those hours, … Read more of the post Working Remotely: An Honest Reflection, Tips, & Tools

Philly Tech Community: A Call To Action

Last week we hosted an event as part of Philly Tech Week called “Service in Philly: How Designers & Technologists Can Mobilize with A Mission.” It was not a talk about Think Brownstone, but about the Philly tech community—of which we are one small part. It was also admittedly a bit of a curve ball, and wasn’t so much a talk as a call to action—but it was designed to build upon the following: The Philly tech community is full of creative, passionate, highly-skilled, and talented people. Although we certainly compete at a high level for work and for talent, … Read more of the post Philly Tech Community: A Call To Action

What the Four Seasons Taught Me about Customer Experience

I once scored a $50 tip for giving one of my customers a pack of cigarettes. It was the late ’80s and I was a busboy/bar back at the Four Seasons Hotel in Philadelphia. One of my customers was bummed that the gift shop only carried cigarettes in soft packs. I remembered the employee lounge dispensed hard packs, so I ran downstairs, threw in $3.25 of my own money, and brought him a hard pack. He tried to pay me back for it, but I told him it was on the house. Later that night, Jack the bartender tipped me out an extra … Read more of the post What the Four Seasons Taught Me about Customer Experience