All posts by shaunm44

Service Designing Myself

At times, I feel like a Service Design evangelist. Albeit, I’m not a Service Designer (yet?), but I’m entirely in love with the principles of Service Design and think they should be applied to more businesses to change our businesses for the better. For more reasons and details on why Service Design is so great, you can visit my LinkedIn profile to see my post "Why Every Business Should Utilize Service Design."

Recently, I got to thinking about all of the things I want to do, my 8 million interest, my 4 million hobbies, and my endless lists of things to do daily. I’m working on getting better, getting organized, reading books for suggestions and it’s been OK so far. But, I haven’t put in much action into making things better. Then a light bulb went off.

My Service Design professor mentioned a book he recommended we review for personal use called "Business Model You". It’s been on my " To Read " list and I’m eager to check it out. But then I realized, why not take the skills I already have and know through Design Thinking to evaluate my life and my goals. It seems like an ideal solution to attempt to bring order (or acceptance) to the chaos of life.

No, contrary to popular belief, I’m not a service! 😉 But it will be interesting to see how those principles can be recycled from business thinking to reorganizing my personal life.

For the next month or so, I’ll take my time evaluating my life’s most important touchpoints (not sure if that makes sense yet) and figuring out how I can make that improvement.

Marvel Seamless Pattern Background

Here’s a seamless Marvel background I created for my portfolio. Turned out more childish looking than I expected. But depending on the use, this wallpaper might better fit your needs.

One random tangent, but I’m impressed by the end result. Took a good bit of time to perfect it, but it’s pretty cool if I can say so myself.

The designs imitate the icons created by Ruben Ferlo. Some are revised copies of Ruben’s, a few others are personally created. Note, that silver character is Antman. Figured that might be confusing trying to ID if it’s Antman or Ultron lol.

Thanks and hope you enjoy!

Walking into the New Year

So my Design365 Challenge crashed within a few weeks. Unfortunate, but learned about myself in order to continue growth. I WILL continue the challenge in the near future. Maybe pickup on the 16th day (or whichever number I left off) of the year to push through, improve my consistency, and learn. And as the floodgates of life continue to open, I have to find someway to stay true to my goals.

Additionally, I’m starting to write music. Sometimes I want to say I’m writing “music/poetry” so if the music fails I can fall back as a poet. But I’m planning to go full in as a Rapper. Sounds odd, scary, and like it doesn’t fit. But the more I look at my skills, tastes, and what I have fun doing, writing music is a great fit.

I’m not choosing school or music – I will be doing both. Going against the grain of the “either/or” fib and recognizing that I can be a Designer AND a Rapper.

Looking forward to the greatness to come!

Design365 – Dec 1


My hopes and goals to finish the Don Norman book by the end of November tanked! I definitely missed it due to inadequate time blocking and the onslaught of finals and projects. I know they’re just excuses, but hey? Ish happens and the world keeps spinning. So “Emotional Design” will stay on the ‘to read’ list and I’ll continue trucking.

Albeit, I haven’t dedicated time to do these design tasks daily, I am learning a bunch more about design through my schoolwork and projects. I can see noticeable improvements on the skill I have now versus what I came into grad school with.

Not gonna fret too much over spilled milk. Gonna keep my head down and keep plowing on all the things I have laid out in front of me.

Design365 – Day number… Idk

Things have been hitting me so hard that I don’t even know what day of Design365 I’m on.

But, in the meanwhile, I’m still practicing design thinking on my projects – both work and school. On the other hand, I haven’t been making much time for reading “Emotional Design”. In order to continue the progress, I will read “Emotional Design” for a few and try to gain back that positive momentum.

Back to it!

Design365 – Day 8 (to 21)

Wow, have I fallen behind…  Arrrrrggghhhhhh!!!! This was not my intent, but I have to roll with the punches. Things got hard balancing school, personal life, and other demands. But I will do my best to get back to it daily.

For the past week plus, I’ve been reading the Don Norman “Emotional Design” book off and on. As well, to try and stay active, I’ve noticed the design in some objects, but nothing deep nor scrutinizing. Moving forward, I’ll pick up the book now, read for 10 minutes to keep the design flowing through my brain while balancing the rest of life.

Goal is to finish the book by end of November, which is more than reasonable. Off to plow through!!!

Design365 – Day 7

Shoei Helmet
Emotions: Bad ass, fast, cool, confident, protected, sporty

Because I work on my master’s thesis about track days so often, I promised myself I wouldn’t get motorcycles involved in my Design365 project. But, as is evident from the picture above, I broke that promise.

They’re just too damn sexy! And for that, I had to search more into this. Last night, I was sketching prototypes for my project and I had to draw out a helmet. So I was looking at my own for inspiration and to mimic. Then, as I struggled drawing the complex curves accurately, I wondered what about this safety device makes it so cool? Because boiled down, the helmet is solely for protection – not gaining the admiration of those around you. But it greatly does both.

So, b/c I’m learning more from Don Norman’s “Emotional Design”, I’ll try to apply that here to see what I can gather. I’ll work from Reflective down to Behavioral, then finally to Visceral (or I’ll try to at least).

Reflective: Here, I imagine all the stories I’ve heard from others or seen in the movies. In nearly all of these depictions, the motorcycle rider is a bad ass muddah that shouldn’t be messed with! But on the other hand, the stories of people dead or injured from motorcycle accidents because they didn’t wear a helmet rattle me. It also makes me judge other riders who dare to ride without it. Lastly, it’s also illegal to ride without one, so that’s another piece added to the pie.

Behavioral: The helmet does what it’s supposed to. I don’t get bugs or rocks thrown into my eye, I feel comfortable knowing my cabeza is protected if anything were to happen, and it fits comfortable enough. Although it’s not the most comforting thing in the world, for what it offers, I’m willing to sacrifice a little comfort. Another point is it’s aerodynamic design makes it easy to manage while moving at 60+.

Visceral: This (while standing on the shoulders of reflective thinking) is what makes this product shine. As always with greatly designed products, form follows function and as noted earlier, the helmet must be aerodynamic. So it starts with a very rounded build. After that, there’s these little slits and slots around – one over the mouth area, one over the Shoei logo near the forehead, and two more near the crown of the head. These slots are really just adjustable holes allowing air in or out of the helmet for ventilation.

But rather than just being holes with a basic cover, these vents are designed to look very edgy. They offer sharp and abrupt edges, similar to the F-117 stealth fighter jet. Other spots also sport the flat, sculpted look and they add to the feel of the helmet, giving it another dimension. So rather than it being just a round ball, the vents spice it up with fighter jet flare. Might be hard to see in the picture, but there’s also other lines on the helmet that add to the sporty feel.

Another point worth noticing is how the vents use a shiny paint whereas the rest of the body relies on a matte finish. This helps to give it a futuristic and clean feel while also drawing attention to those spots.

Shoei helmet

That’s it for today’s analysis. But one quick celebration – I made it through one week! Consistency is key and I’ve struggled here before, but I got faith I’ll make it through a year of skill development. 1 week down, 51 to go!!!

Design365 – Day 6

Ooops! Welp, I actually missed doing a review yesterday. Was supposed to continue reading Don Norman’s “Emotional Design” book for a week, but got swamped with school work. Plan is to read tonight as well as do a quick analysis of my motorcycle helmet. #SleepIsForSuckas #IWannaBeASucka

*** Update ***
It’s 2am and I should be sleep, but I’m insane and gluttonous for pain and/or learning. Not sure if pain or learning is taking the forefront here, but I love keeping myself up late doing things only to wake up tired or late or both the next day.

But, for the reason that it’s so late and I want to be functional tomorrow, I’m going to be brief here with my follow up and the Day 7 write-up.

Read some of Donnie Norm’s book tonight. I met him, but don’t know him well enough, rather at all, to give him a funny nickname, but this is my blog and my rules here. But, the book went over how the mind works on three different levels of visceral, behavioral, and reflective thinking. The biggest impact I gained here is recognizing the flow of control from reflective thinking down to behavioral, then down to visceral. It’s a bit much to describe in a sentence, but really made me rethink how I understand human processing of an experience.

Design365 – Day 5

The analysis today is to review the World of Coca Cola. Recently went to the factory/amusements in Atlanta with my wife and loved every moment of it. Enjoyed all of the interactive attractions, relived some childhood memories, and learned a lot about the Coca Cola company.

Growing up, I remember stories of Coca Cola (and/or McDonald’s I believe) going into lesser developed countries and using up all of the local’s water to make Coke. Not sure the actual event and implications, but this is what I walked in remembering. Coca Cola is just this big conglomerate soaking up the world’s water sources. For good sodas, but that’s not the point. Even with this negative imprint, I thoroughly enjoyed my visit.

The site was built to embody fun and happiness. Of course there was an abundance of trademark Coke red coloring. We spotted the Coke Polar Bear, noticed the famous Coke bottle outlined all through out, and a lot of flags to symbolize it’s worldwide impact.

But, the powerful thing was feeling the emotional impact of the video they crafted. It works as an intro to the tour and entry into the factory. There’s a brief trailer on YouTube, but it doesn’t do justice for the actual impact. It was about a 5-minute video showing a lot of events that stirred emotional highs. The stories it told highlighted great and inspiring emotions. Best part was that the video barely included any plugs for Coke. It was all centered around the people who drink it.

Nonetheless, I reflect on the experience and the video had an amazing part. Was very well crafted and changed the visit entirely. Still reflecting on how Coke crafted everything precisely for different feelings and interactions.

Design365 – Day 4

Water Bottles

Feel like I’m running out of exciting things to review. At least things that stir up a lot of emotions. Will do some pondering over the next day before the next post.

For this post, I will analyze a few water bottles I own. Although it doesn’t seem like much, I can say enjoy and use one bottle often because of it’s good design. The more I write this, the more I recognize it’s less about emotional design and more about overall usability and design. Oh well! Time is short and I’ll make the most of the day.

First bottle on the left is one I got at a Hackathon sporting Google Glass. It’s a very cool black, stylish white font, and very sturdy aluminum or metal build. Very cool, but not as useful as others that I have owned. The bumps on the lid give it a texture that neither adds nor takes away from the bottle. Rather, it balances out because its texture balances out the slick, smooth body all over the rest of the bottle. Although it adds texture and variety, it’s not comfortable to hold for long. The hole at the top is also great for easy one-finger holding and transportation.

The middle bottle is from a work event. Another bottle offering good utility, but not as attractive as the first. This bottle seems like it’s built to be tossed around, taken to the gym, and lay wherever. The look alone isn’t much, but the loop, the texture grips, and the printed measurements on the side all add to normal functionality of the bottle. Maybe the “beat me up” look is intentional since it’s a cheaper model.

Lastly, the bottle on the right is my favorite. Easy to hold, easy to drink from, and pretty stylish. The bottle it very sleek, the transparent color seems cool, and the lid’s little flares add a nice touch. The wide lip, the accent colors, the neckband all add a feel not seen in other bottles. Another feature past the visceral level of design is the functionality that I haven’t found in any other bottle. The spring loaded lid allows me to quickly and easily access the water without having to twist the lid off or anything else. It seems like a simple thing, but that little feature makes it easier and more convenient for me to drink water and has been the reason my water consumption has shot through the roof.