The sCoop: week of March 12

It was a very exciting week at Cooper last week. So much to celebrate. First, we want to congratulate and celebrate with Doug LeMoine and his wife Mara on the birth of their son. We can’t wait to meet this little man!
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Clearly, Doug wasn’t able to give his talk at SXSW as planned but Alan and Nick both spoke at SXSW and contributed significantly. Nick’s talk, The Visual Interface Is Now Your Brand, was so popular and over capacity (of course!) that our own Alan Cooper couldn’t get in.
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At Cooper, we don’t sweat the small stuff, but we do work to keep our cool over the big stuff. Those of us who weren’t at SXSW were lucky to host some of the brightest and most talented design muscle coming out of CMU design programs. We wish them luck with the rest of their year and, given their aspirations, we know you’ll be seeing them soon. Come back to Cooper soon!
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Speaking about making a difference in the world, we want to congratulate Pipette and RockHealth. Pipette, a start-up who participated in RockHealth’s first class, was recently acquired by Ginger.io, an MIT Media Lab spin off. Congratulations to Pipette; the road to recovery is about to get a whole lot smoother for patients where Pipette is involved! And Congratulations to RockHealth for providing to be a successful incubator for start-ups in healthcare. Because of you, everyone’s future is a little better and perhaps longer!
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The sCoop: week of December 12-16

This week we’ve been talking a lot about the past and future, possibly we are avoiding the stressful, immediate present which is measured against shipping dates. Visual.ly sums it up nicely.
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Last week we wrote about Facebook’s timeline. This week, FastCompany made a compelling argument as to why the Facebook timeline might not be good for certain brands.
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That said, in the face of adversity Jawbone UP took some timely and noteworthy action. They announced a no-questions-asked refund policy.
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The sCoop: week of December 5-9

This week the sCoop is all about celebrating and planning. We have a few great reasons to celebrate: Alan Cooper was a big hit as the keynote at CETI this week. We just launched our new Cooper UX Bootcamp class in March in Columbus, Ohio. And whenever Cooper has reason to celebrate, we do!

We wish Facebook would just release its new timeline already, it might have helped during our game of “Two Truths and a Lie” over our celebratory drinks! Seriously, who lived on the commune?

Speaking of drinking, this trusty info graphic to help you toe the line when drinking at the holiday party

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But if you cross the line, REALLY cross the line… We can’t stop talking about this service that help you come up with a plan for prison.

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We imagine that people in prison have a lot of time to think about how to move forward. But if you don’t have a lot of time on your hands and need help getting unstuck, check out this app.

Unstuck promises to help you overcome those challenges that prevent you from being your best.

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Good design is only half the story

I had the opportunity to sit in on our new Design Communication & Collaboration class taught by Kendra Shimmell, and it changed my perspective about how to work better with people! Instead of trying to persuade collaborators to work with me, this course focused on empowering them to better work with me. The class goes beyond design as an outcome, beyond pictures and pixels. It discusses design as an act of facilitation, digging into why great products and services get upended while tackling the difficulties of communication and collaboration that get in the way of great design.

Have you ever been on a project team that had a killer idea, ran with it at full speed, and came up with some amazing work, only to have a silent stakeholder finally voice their concerns and “torpedo” the project 8 months down the road? Had the team been able to address these concerns early on and often, the meltdown could have been avoided and the idea come to fruition. The message of the class is clear and powerful: Successful design is as much about how well you work with others as being a good designer.
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