Think Blog

Design ideas, wit, and wisdom from Think Brownstone.

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

Our Core Values, Episode V: Continuously Improve

This is the fifth in a series intended to go deeper into each of our Core Values. The series was started by Brian with Our Core Values, Episode I: Be Excellent, and Kimberly wrote about it most recently with Episode IV: Work Together. I’ll continue the discussion with our fifth core value: Continuously Improve. As an introspective person dedicated to self-improvement, I’ve been affected by many people and events and have learned a lot about myself through these interactions. But nothing has taught me more about continuous improvement than the experiences I’ll share now. Improve Through Practice Before you read any further, draw a small line on a piece … Read more of the post Our Core Values, Episode V: Continuously Improve

Think Brownstone’s Apple Watch Share: Week One

Last Friday, an excited group of early adopters at Think Brownstone gathered to unveil two brand-new Apple Watches that arrived in the studio mailbox that morning. After taking a break to rip open the packages, try on the watches, and snap a photo or two, the group held a random drawing to determine the lucky folks who would wear the team-owned watches for the first few weeks. Thus launched Think Brownstone’s Apple Watch share. The idea came from Mark, who sent out a company-wide email a few months before the watch’s release to gauge interest in testing it out as a team. He had a hunch that others might … Read more of the post Think Brownstone’s Apple Watch Share: Week One