Think Blog

Design ideas, wit, and wisdom from Think Brownstone.

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

Tips on Receiving Design Feedback

There are plenty of articles on how to give better feedback, but not so many on how to receive feedback. This is surprising, because knowing how to receive feedback is just as important as giving it. Someone may give you excellent feedback, but if you don’t know how to process it, it will have been wasted. There are two parts to receiving feedback: function and emotion. The functional part involves listening to and guiding the person giving you feedback. The emotional part is all about making the other person comfortable, which leads to more candid feedback. Before we jump in any deeper … Read more of the post Tips on Receiving Design Feedback

Reflecting Back on the Forward 4 Web Summit

This past month I was fortunate enough to attend the Forward 4 Web Summit (also known as ForwardJS), which is single-day, multi-track conference hosted in San Francisco. Although the official event is just one day, the rest of the week is stacked full with hands-on workshops taught by industry leaders. The conference speakers and attendees addressed a broad range of topics relevant to front-end developers. While the event didn’t focus on any specific area of development, I noticed a few overarching themes emerge after reflecting back on my experience. JavaScript is Everywhere Beginning with the first keynote address by Kassandra … Read more of the post Reflecting Back on the Forward 4 Web Summit

Myths and Realities of Designing for Accessibility

Designing for accessibility has a bit of a negative reputation. It’s not that designers think accessibility is a bad thing—everyone wants their site to be accessible by the most people possible. It’s that accessibility is often seen as a chore, or as something to check off of a list. It becomes an afterthought that’s implemented at the development stage. Instead, designing for accessibility should be a point of focus from the beginning of any digital project. Here at Think Brownstone we are working to make accessibility a top priority. We recently ran an internal project to bring more focus to … Read more of the post Myths and Realities of Designing for Accessibility

Six Ways To Improve Forms

One of our clients—a large life insurance company—sought our help to improve the way they gather client information for life insurance applications. We were tasked with shortening the time to complete the form while improving accuracy and the overall customer experience. The Challenge The company’s existing forms were time consuming and confusing, leading to a lot of inaccurate data collection. The instructions, terminology, and layout were hard to digest and users had little space to respond to detailed questions. This friction was exacerbated by unclear direction about which information was required. The resulting confusion and frustration often led to incorrect or incomplete answers—or worse, … Read more of the post Six Ways To Improve Forms