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Dan Formosa - Better Future SPOTLIGHT

Updated: May 18, 2022

In this episode of the Better Future SPOTLIGHT, Mark sits down with the legendary Dan Formosa. A true multidisciplinarian, Dan wears an astonishing amount of hats and is known as a designer, a consultant, an educator, an author, an illustrator, a Youtube video series host, a champion for gender equity, and perhaps most importantly, a question asker.

In this conversation, Mark and Dan speak about the need for design evolution, choosing exploration over validation, understanding the work behind usability, 'soul' design, and the magic of asking questions.

It is a great privilege to scratch the surface of a phenomenal design mind like Dan's, and we are excited to share some of his experience, knowledge, and vision for a better future in this episode.


Dan Formosa


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Bracken Darrell - Made for People Podcast Series

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[design] is about being comfortable while being uncomfortable, 0:00:30
let's use the power of design for good not evil, 0:01:35
everyone has a background and everyone has a history and everyone has preconceptions and everyone has been pre-programmed to act and think in a certain way... these are things we have to unravel, 0:03:34
very often usability issues are so difficult to solve because there is so much variation in the way people think things should work, 0:06:29
there is not a whole lot of difference in the way we design things now from the early 80s, 0:10:00
designers really need to consider the entire spectrum of users, 0:13:41
design and gender is a very interesting topic because males and females think differently, 0:17:33
there is an underlying problem with designers who base their value on the time you spend working on the product, which has a major effect on the culture of design... We shouldn't be basing our values on hours over of goals, 0:21:34
designers should be ready to redesign themselves, 0:26:32
big companies are starting to invest in design, they are embracing it, 0:30:42
throughout our entire school lives we have never been asked to come up with questions, we have only been asked to come up with answers, 0:33:40
when designers do research they tend to use marketing techniques... it becomes about validation as opposed to exploration, 0:38:09
it's a bit unknown to people in the world that SO much research and development goes into usability, 0:44:31
design can be so, so powerful, 0:47:51
we need to get better at understanding people, 0:47:55


the past 18 months have taught us that scientific knowledge and fact don't universally appeal to everyone, 0:04:09
I still think a lot of design is thought to be about an artifact and how it looks rather than how it solves, 0:21:27
the cost to convince is often greater than the cost to solve, 0:35:41
brands should actually solve things, not convince people they have solved things, 0:36:11

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