Design for yourself

I did’t train as an engineer or anthropologist —two of the more common pathways into design thinking. In fact, I found the language and tools of design after I was well into my career in healthcare.

I’m aware I’m not a seasoned designer, but not always sure I know what I don’t know…I am, as Noel Burch would say, consciously incompetent.

Lately, I’ve been working on my relocation to DC. I’ve had to sort through finding a place in a city I don’t know as well as I thought I did. And then there are all the moving pieces (pun marginally intended) of orchestrating a move.

Then it occurred to me: be your own design subject. I re-approached the entire process by first interviewing myself. I asked myself questions like:  selfwhat kind of place do you want? What should it be near? What do you dislike about your current place?  I made post-its with my must haves, wants and dislikes. Those post-its turn into trial runs of hotel nights in various neighborhoods to practice commutes and check out restaurants; in other words, prototypes.

This weekend, I applied the same process to coordinating everything about the move.

The lesson for me, and perhaps other designers: take time to design for yourself.