I follow the principles of user-centered design by working to create systems that are strong in Visibility, Accessibility, Legibility, and Language — while considering the intended audience, purpose, and context of the system.
I’ve found the following values to be those that yield the best work and the best environment to work in, and thus strive to embody them in both professional organizational relationships and in the systems that I design.
An open environment facilitates kindness. An open environment is one in which individuals are not subjected to needless judgment or dismissal, and individuals have time and space to express both new ideas and concerns. Since we are routinely judging and assessing situations, patience with both ourselves and others is also critical with regard to cultivating this type of space.
An environment of transparency facilitates compassion. When we are able to see what is happening, and understand the causes and conditions that have lead to difficult situations, we are more able to empathize and act compassionately. Transparency means clear communication of vital information both within and without an organization, that directly gets to the point. Transparency requires clarity of purpose, goals, and processes.
Autonomy provides the conditions for spontaneity and joy in our own work and that of others. When individuals have the space, freedom, and trust to take responsibility and ownership for their work and prove their capability, we can take joy in their genuine accomplishments and contributions.
Autonomy means having confidence in the ability of oneself and other individuals to rise to meet challenges, and giving oneself and others the time and space to prove his or their capability to do so.
To be accountable is to be willing to accept responsibility for one’s actions, be they successes or mistakes.
A environment in which individuals hold one another accountable encourages fearlessness. When people are willing to embrace challenging conversations without hesitation so that individuals can learn from the results of their actions, then everyone learns to maintain fearless equanimity, whether an individual’s mistakes are being pointed out or their accomplishments are celebrated.
An accountable environment is a just environment, which makes for both a peaceful and stable system.
These are derived from 2500 year old Buddhist teachings described as the four limitless qualities of mind: kindness, compassion, joy, and fearlessness (equanimity.)
They are equally applicable internally to organizations creating systems as well as to the systems that they create.