Digital technology. It has crept into our lives, and so deeply has it penetrated us, that it has completely redesigned it. In the deep oceans and the high skies, it is now as elemental in our landscape as the wind and falling rain. It’s not going to stop.
Due to the way civilisations progress, we are about to zip-line and observe more change in the next ten years, than of the last hundred. But how do we prevent this acceleration from eroding away our humanity?
Incorporating the psychological and philosophical fields into the design process, Pete Trainor brings our focus back to the fundamental questions that drive us, and through a journey of design thinking, he asks one simple question, the one we have always asked through all times... Why?Want to learn more?
Keep consuming? Or become active? Enlightenment or entitlement? The choice is still ours.- Pete Trainor
He who has a why to live can bear almost any how.- Friedrich Nietzsche
Banks are to not only having to embrace digital as a technology, we are having to re-imagine how we serve customers and where we can truly add value to their lives. Digital is more than a disruption, it is an inflection point.- Stuart Haire
The last two decades have seen a revolution in design. Digital technology has blown apart the old ideas of design practice and elevated design to a seat on the board in many of the world’s largest, most successful companies.- Giles Colborne, Managing Director, CX Partners
Designers’ rise in importance has been accompanied by their descent from their ivory towers.- Pete Trainor
Hippo spans 13 chapters (with two new ones coming in 2017). Helping you to weave philosophical observations into your design thinking. Below are some sample chapters.
Hello there. It’s Pete. If you’re reading this on a screen, welcome to the digital era. If you’re holding paper in your hands, I salute you. Very retro. Whatever your chosen platform is, it’s okay. Everything is always okay — as you will soon see. This book is going to twist and turn and you’ll need to use a lot of your senses to process things and understand what I’m saying and this is a good thing — to be tested. I want you to feel the polymath in you and embrace it... Click here to read the full chapter.
A more human focused approach to designing products and solutions would drastically change how we think about people and the lives we all live. It helps us to realise that people do not behave as we think they do. Even under the microscope of qualitative and quantitative, field and desk research, the results are often an observation of the person’s mind-set at a ‘moment’ in time... Click here to read the full chapter.
Have you ever started a financial plan? If you’re anything like I was, we’ve all started financial plans, ‘started’ being the operative word. It goes like this: you’ve set out with the best intentions but failed to keep the momentum going. That’s basically it. You’ve stagnated, wallowed and then… started up again. Relying on motivation and willpower doesn’t work and I know that’s not something to preach — I’m coming up against a self help industry that banks billions, but I’m not selling an ideology, I’m facing the reality of the situation, and it wasn’t always a habit of mine... Click here to read the full chapter.
Behaviour is the range of actions and mannerisms made by people in conjunction with themselves or their environment, which includes the other people around as well as the (inanimate) physical environment. It is the response of a person to various stimuli or inputs, whether internal or external, conscious or unconscious, overt or covert, and voluntary or involuntary. From a human focused perspective, behaviour consists of four key elements: a person, operations (actions, activities) and interactions (relationships), and their properties... Click here to read the full chapter.
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Trainor's book should be required reading for all of us who work in digital. In a world where it's so easy to focus on the shiny things we build rather than the needs of the humans using them, and the outcomes we should be supporting, Hippo is a powerful reminder of the course we should be following. The practical examples presented bring to life thoughtful reflections on the philosophy of design and the neurological principles that influence human psychology and our mental models — which sounds really complex, but is instead rendered accessible by Trainor's friendly tone and clarity of thinking. Hippo contains a powerful message about us and our future — in the words of Thomas Watson, machines and technology aren't fitting substitutes for a lacking humanity, but should be (and will only be sustainable) if they are tools for extending the power of the humans that use them. It is only by asking different sets of questions and looking at digital tools as enablers of human outcomes rather than solutions to problems that often are of our creations that we'll be able to create a better world for everybody.
I picked up this book thinking it really wouldn’t be for me. I mean why would a self-confessed technosceptic bother reading a book ostensibly written for digital designers? But its human element called to me, and I was immediately hooked by Pete Trainor’s obvious passion: designing better things is a much healthier concept than designing things better. This is a call to action to all digital designers to think about people rather than things. Thank goodness there is at least one person out there who believes that designing for normal human beings is a great idea. And is willing to put his head above the parapet and say so.
I have read lots of books. Some books I have read twice or three times. Some books I read once a year... To me, a good book is a source of inspiration. It's that breath of fresh air to your thoughts, the fuel that gets you going when you need it the most... To me, the definition of a good book is like finding rare, special friend, a comrade. And I think I found just that in this Hippo Book. I love when the author takes you by the hand on a journey of deep dives, sharp bends, and discoveries... to the places you never knew existed. In this digital age, when everything moves faster than ever before... it’s hard to slow down, take a deep breath, THINK and just let yourself be. “But how do we prevent this acceleration from eroding away our humanity?” - a wonderful question. This book gives us the answer. This book is a perfect blend of philosophy, psychology, design thinking. It's a powerful outlook that reaches out into the future. The future, where the tech gets off the way and brings the soul back into creating better things. Simple, yet significant. I will definitely read this book again. Soon.
This book inspired me to think differently, ask questions I’ve never thought of and connect concepts in ways I don’t normally. For those of you not lucky enough to have spent time with Pete; to have someone inspire and empower you to see life through a different lens as Pete does, his book 'Hippo' is the next best thing. This book is the start of the voyage to ask more questions about the world you live in and how we can make a difference in a world of digital cultural homogenisation. Frankly the world needs more polymaths, here’s a handbook for that.
This book moves seamlessly between philosophy, scientific rigour, and the practical application of human centred design for business. A highly engaging book for anyone seeking to make digital products that resonate with their customer.
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