12 Tips from Cooper Managing Director & Drummer Jon Mysel

Way back in September 2015, Cooper expanded to New York. Through this expansion, we gained some pretty excellent colleagues. One of these colleagues is Managing Director, New York, Jon Mysel. Jon is the senior-most designer at Cooper’s New York office, and a stand up guy. On top of being an interaction design guru, he’s a proud father, a patent holder, a talented drummer (his band performed at CBGB), and lived in Australia for many years. I had the great opportunity to interview Jon a few months ago and learned much from our conversation.

Here are 12 sage insights from our friend Jon:

  • To earn a client’s trust and respect, you have to be honest, open, and collaborative. If you’re not sure about something, or are exploring something, just tell them.
  • You can’t be a good consultant or get a good result if you can’t collaborate. We can’t assume to know our clients’ business better than they do.
  • I learned more about running a business from my mentors than I did during my MBA; they taught me the way to approach people, work and clients.
  • Live by the consultants’ creed: find someone who knows how to do things better than you. You shouldn’t know the answer to everything. 
  • You’ll find yourself with clients who want to work with you, and those who want to work against you. You can move clients from one camp to the next if you earn their trust and respect and focus on learning each other’s perspectives.
  • Put the person at the center of whatever you’re designing.
  • My whole life is a series of being at the right place at the right time. Take advantage of that.
  • Furniture and industrial designers influence the way I do interaction design. They think about design from a functional and aesthetic perspective. They always consider simplicity, process, practicality, and scale.
  • Do something you love for your career, and that allows you to earn a living. If I weren’t a designer, I would be a musician or a radio disc jockey. (Attention Spotify, Pandora, or iTunes, you want Jon working on your products. You can check out his favorite playlist here.)
  • Eskimos have so many words for snow. Describing my work as a designer is similar to that.
  • Brute force is often the solution. Sometimes you have to find a solution and work from there.
  • Be an open book. There’s nothing about me that nobody knows about. 

Jon working his drumming magic. 

Alan Cooper
Alan Cooper

Alan Cooper is the co-founder of Cooper and a pioneer of the modern computing era. He created the programming language Visual Basic and wrote industry-standard books on design practice like “About Face.”

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