2 years deep: Learning’s from the inside.

Today is my last day as an employee of Locus Research. As I write these words it conjures up a mix of emotions.

I’m thankful for the opportunities I have received here at Locus. I have had the privilege of working on some really interesting projects with some incredible people! I’m equally excited to be armed with valuable skills moving forward, and I head to London full of anticipation for the next adventure!

In life, I try to always seek out challenge. I have been challenged in ways I never predicted here at Locus. Here are 5 key learnings I take with me:

1. Iterate or Die

We have all heard the phrase “innovate or die” and while I wholeheartedly agree, I think it’s also really important to “iterate or die”. Particularly when you are working in the fuzzy front end of product development with a lot of unknowns. Quick and dirty prototyping means you can fail fast, learn fast, iterate, improve, and ultimately get a better result. 3D printing has greatly accelerated the pace of iterations. For example, we can quickly design something (do some rough hand calculations to ensure we are in the right ballpark), prototype it (print etc.), test it to learn something specific, and we are then armed with the knowledge to improve from there!

2. “Everyone I meet is in some way my superior. In that I learn from him” – Emerson

It’s a brilliant quote and something I hope to always keep at the forefront of my mind. Every person I have come into contact with at Locus, colleagues and clients, has had something interesting to teach me. Sometimes it’s not always instantly obvious what that is, but it is always worth finding out what someone’s niche is and what their strengths are.

Michelle Power at DTX Groundswell 2019
3. Stay One Page Ahead

I like this saying better than “fake it till you make it.” It feels more authentic and diligent and requires just the right amount of preparation. This is something I hope to improve on, to be thinking one step ahead about what could be coming, what could go wrong, what is important, and ultimately to provide more value to those around me.

4. Empathy for people by default should mean empathy for the planet

If we truly care about human-centred design we should also care about sustainable and responsible design that cares for the planet we live on. It’s something that should be woven into everything we do, but we can’t wait to be told. As designers, we should take responsibility for the design decisions we make and the downflow effects they have. I’m excited about the shifts occurring to move to a circular economy and this is a cause I hope to help.

5. Storytelling is key

By this, I mean the art of effective communication. Working in a consultancy requires an extra layer of communication. You have to make sure you bring the client on the journey. You need to inspire confidence in the decisions that are made and help them to understand the ambiguous nature of product development, and this often comes down to the way you communicate this through. It’s not a one size fits all approach. It is something that should be tweaked according to specific needs.

Thank-you Locus! Here’s to 2020!



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