Think Blog

Design ideas, wit, and wisdom from Think Brownstone.

Are You Ready for the Bleeding ‘Edge’?

If you’re like many of us here at Think Brownstone, you know that technology evolves rapidly, and you do the best you can to keep up. That’s just one of the reasons it’s so great to work with a team of smart, talented people—everyone can divide and conquer to stay abreast of changes in the industry. I’ve always been the unabashed, hardcore Windows user of the team. For months, I’ve been knowledge-dropping about Windows 10 and its exciting new features as I’ve run the preview builds at home. As a web architect and developer, I’ve also been eagerly awaiting the final delivery of Edge, the evergreen … Read more of the post Are You Ready for the Bleeding ‘Edge’?

From Notes to Pixels

When people ask what I did before UX design, they are usually surprised to hear that I was an orchestral conductor. What’s even more surprising to them is that the core skills of a conductor and a UX designer are nearly identical. That’s right. I was the guy on stage waving my arms through the air while a group of talented musicians played on stage and made me look good (… usually). But a lot of work would come before that moment. SIMPLIFY I remember sitting at my desk for hours studying the great works—the Beethoven symphonies, the Mahler symphonies, … Read more of the post From Notes to Pixels

Our Core Values, Episode VI: Be Of Service

As experience design consultants, we have a penchant for identifying with self-important descriptions like visionary, innovator, and the next Steve Jobs. Some of these descriptions may be accurate in rare cases, but in reality designers have more in common with a restaurant waiter than we do Mr. Jobs. At Think Brownstone, we acknowledge this commonality with our sixth and final core company value: Be of service. One of the many ways we manifest this value is by pursuing altruistic activities with our two paid volunteer days each year. Other ways include organizing company-wide volunteer opportunities, helping out at local design workshops and schools, donating money to … Read more of the post Our Core Values, Episode VI: Be Of Service

The “Simple” Words and Phrases That Stifle Creative Teamwork

One four-letter adverb can derail a project, or even a relationship. The word? “Just”—or its six-letter equivalent, “simply.” Maybe Nike started this trend back in the ’80s when they came up with the tagline “just do it.” The implied message behind the “just” in “just do it” is that we can and should eliminate complexities between us and our goals—that we have the power to simplify the path to achievement. This message speaks to us, consciously or not, because the struggle to achieve our goals in spite of our own interference is universal. How we all wish it were that easy! … Read more of the post The “Simple” Words and Phrases That Stifle Creative Teamwork

Building Strong Team Communication; Our #DareConf Takeaways

At Think Brownstone, teasing out the human side of design through facilitation and listening is built into our DNA. So when a few of us heard about the Dare Conference coming to Philadelphia (and being held in the U.S. for the first time), it felt like a no-brainer to attend. This past week, Abby, Helene, Gina, and I participated in different parts of this outside-the-norm conference, including a full day of sessions, an after party with short talks (hosted in our Philly studio!), and a second day of hands-on workshops. We each had our eye on specific topics and exercises we … Read more of the post Building Strong Team Communication; Our #DareConf Takeaways