New Year ~ New Mindset(s)

Another January and another opportunity to stop, reflect, and learn. Learning is an important skill to have as a designer/researcher and, I think it makes life more interesting!

I recently came across two new (to me) learning concepts that I will be looking to bring a bit more into 2022.

  1. ‘A beginner mindset’ – taking the approach of looking at things as if I am completely new to them.
  2. And ‘learning to unlearn’ – looking to let go of previous learning to make space for new learning and ways of doing things

Why do we need to try these? To stop us from making assumptions, be more creative and make us more open to new ideas and ways of doing things. To help us grow.

Go ahead and ‘disrupt’ yourself this year.

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Non Fungible Tokens – NFTs

Getting to grips with crypto and NFTs

This month I have been learning about NFTs – a digital asset that has exploded in the crypto scene recently. For my previous crypto posts see ‘money and the blockchain‘ and ‘staking’.

image borrowed from @elonmusk

NFTs are digital tokens that represent ownership of assets such as digital art, game avatars or even land. NFTs allow non-fungible or non ‘like for like’ assets (such as digital art) to be traded on the blockchain. Something that was difficult to do before. Also, before the advent of NFTs, it was easy to make digital copies of these online assets, you just had to ‘right click and save’. Because NFTs are tokenised and ‘minted’ on the blockchain, each time one is created it is issued with unique metadata that can not be copied or amended.

What can we use Nfts for?

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UX Research Vs Market Research

What is the difference between market research and UX or design research? It’s all about Voice of the Customer so it’ more or less the same thing right?

This is a question we run into a lot, in Design. While there are definitely similarities in both disciplines and we may even cross over occasionally, there are differences. To communicate some of these differences to folk in the business, I put together this slide.

So what is so special about UX or Design Research?

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Exploring Blockchain and Crypto – Staking

In an effort to understand Blockchain and crypto, I have been blogging about it -see previous blog on Blockchain. Next up I am exploring the concept of staking – something I recently ventured into with a couple of different coins. Staking helps investors earn passive income from crypto and at the same time contribute and support the network. So why would you not? In this blog I will share my learning on this process and some tips I picked up along the way. However, like everything else in life and especially in finance an DYOR – Do your own research.

Why put your crypto at stake?
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Reprogramming your reaction to stress

Recently I attended a Tony Robinson seminar where he talked about about improving our experiences by learning how to change our reaction to situations. Surely, there is nothing new in that? We know that if something triggers us, if we reframe our thinking, this should help us react in a more positive way. However, what Tony tells us is that, rather than just rethinking our mental reaction, working on how we physically react to situations can also be a very powerful way to create more positive experiences.

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Behavioural finance and investment choices (part 2)


Making financial and investment decisions is a complicated business. Often we rely on heuristics or rules of thumb to help us navigate through this complex environment. As I discussed in my previous blog, this type of cognitive thinking can often result in less than optimal decisions. These biases, along with short term emotive responses often explain anomalies in the stock market and why they are not more efficient.

Being aware of this faulty thinking is the first step in understanding how we can avoid it. In this blog we continue looking at some of the key cognitive errors we are prone to when dealing with investments.

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Behavioural finance, why do we make poor investment choices? (part 1)

human behavour and Decision making

Recently I have looking at decision making in relation to finance and thinking about how biases impact investment decisions . Similar to other areas on our life, our investment choices are often unduly impacted by social influences and are not particularly rational. Being aware of this ‘faulty thinking’ can help us think about strategies to counteract these impulses and make better investment decisions.

Understanding how peoples’ biases impacts their thinking helps us designers create better, more intuitive user experiences. We know that heuristics and biases help in making decisions but we also know that taking these shortcuts doesn’t always lead to optimum results (see previous blog on the book ‘Nudge’ and behavioural economics).

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7 Lifehacks (aka Habits) for 2021

Making life easier with Habits

Want to improve some areas of your life? I believe creating healthy habits is one of the easiest ways to change and maintain new behaviours. When we set up habits or routines that we repeat and become used to, over time, they become automatic and much easier to do. Setting up habits have certainly helped me design areas of my life for the better. Having been interested in habits and how they are formed I have written about them before. But its an ongoing process and with New Year just behind us, I always find this is a good time to think about which areas i would like to focus on this year. And these 7 favourite habits for 2021. .

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Money and the Blockchain

Recently I have been learning about Blockchain and getting to grips with what it actually does and how it compares to our traditional banking. I want to know more about why it could have potential to disrupt the way we currently do business, particularly in financial services. To do this, I first had to re-examine the concept of what ‘money’ is and what it represents and then consider how traditional banks and Blockchain supports our use of money. Could Blockchain really replace some of our banking services?

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