New year, new me.

My design process (by Michael Darius)

  1. Sketch a low fidelity rough outline of the product or service you’d like to build. (whiteboard/back of napkin)
  2. Define platform specifics and go to market strategy.
  3. Design a medium fidelity schematic and 👋🏿👋🏾👋🏽👋🏼👋🏻👋gestural reference with the desired behavior and process flow to gather your team around and ☑️ gamestorming/affinity 🗺ing.
  4. Create branded/unbranded mood boards, guidelines, iconography and pattern reference library to establish tone and 🗣for a cohesive and holistic design system.
  5. Build your first prototype.
  6. Test your assumptions by capturing ethnographic feedback and insight with 👩‍👦‍👦👫👬👭👬👫👬👭👨‍👧‍👦from all 🚶🏿‍♀️🚶🏾‍♀️🚶🏽‍♀️🚶🏼‍♀️🚶🏻‍♀️🚶‍♀️🚶🏿🚶🏾🚶🏽🚶🏼🚶🏻🚶(walks of life)
  7. Gather and ✒️down your observations.
  8. Reflect on what you’ve learned with your team and prioritize the better insights using your favorite card sorting method.
  9. Apply team insights while 🏢 in the desired behavior, revising service 🖼works and needed changes to the content and visual interface.
  10.  🎉 and return to step 6

Sorry you’re stuck sitting down here with me.

Before it became the monogram of Christ, the Chi Rho was the monogram of Chronos (whose name also begins with a Chi-Rho), the god of time, and an emblem of several solar deities. In Hebrew, Chi-Rho equates to Tav-Resh. The Chi Rho was used in hermetic alchemical texts to denote time.

This monogram of the Chi Rho is displayed with a wreath symbolizing the victory of the Resurrection, above Roman soldiers, ca. 350.

The Consequence of 🔊

When you invest some of your own identity into a growing community which people expect to benefit from they come to expect deontic responses from others in the community – that is, they expect others to respond automatically (without calculation) to threats to their safety and well-being.

In turn, they recognize that they are expected to have deontic responses to suffering of other community members. This doesn’t mean people are expected to act altruistically but on the basis of a shared understanding and shared identity. Under this pretext, a deontic response to an external threat is expected as a natural expression of reciprocity.

Communicative 🗣required to build relationship depends upon mutual respect, and in the 🌎 of mutual respect, deontic responses are not ‘acts of heroism’, they 🕴 as a consequence of 🔊

context modalities are semantic infrastuctures that matter

I will never give anybody permission to assert ‘modal definitions’ over my business which requires that I use modal logic and possible 🌎 semantics (simply because they feel it is their job to defend language from being bastardized by ‘business’). Deontic modality and possible 🌎 semantics will never be ‘optional’ parts of the role of a designer so ✋🏾 trying to make them ‘optional’ with assertions about ‘which’ value designers bring to the table.

Every ⏰ a person asserts their own modal definitions or understandings over my business they counteract an investment into semantic infrastructure that I am attempting to build ‘for San Diego’. Being ‘help’ means providing ‘support to understanding’ not bastardizing the context of what I take the ⏰to write or 🗣 something about that is critical infrastructure of my own.

Modal meaning does not only rely on accessibility but also on an ‘ordering’ of the accessible 🌏 🌍 🌎that we live in.

Watermarks and the Commons

The photography industry is ridden with more objectifying legal terms between photographers and models than many industries, and while model release forms will sometimes protect a model’s rights, copyright law for photos remains in the favor of the person who took the picture and ‘fired the trigger’. This is one reason why the macaque who took his own selfie and denied ownership was such a hot topic last year ( story: ).

With respect to the commons and to ‘model’s rights’ I release my images to the commons unless on assignment by a company who I’ve agreed to release ownership to. Photographers, never clutter your images with watermarks that obstruct people from seeing your work in all of its glory.

If you ‘must’ protect your images beyond what is already stated by federal copyright law, Digimarc for images is a much better approach ( FAQ: )

Design Thinking was acceptable in the 80s (in San Diego)

The fairest assessment I can make of San Diego’s behavioral economics (as the city that always sleeps) would be that it is governed by ‘Microsoft security policies’ and “a tax software company” who thinks they should have the monopoly on ‘design thinking’ because of their relationship to Apple back in the 80s.
(making your observations clear and ‘more known’ may bring you to a place where you are able to make ‘better fair assessments’, not to be confused with ‘conclusions’)

What will we embark upon?

At the time of me posting the video above it will be about one week old. Services augment the way we relate to our environment and change the way we see each other. Sometimes these changes are not changes that everyone is entirely comfortable with. People resist change, they also resist what appears to be foreign or unfamiliar.

It is true that technology as a virtue alone serves humanity no good. It is also true that news outlets serve humanity no good when they cater to people’s fears about things that they themselves know very little about.

We need people behind the scenes making empathic design decisions about which fictions to execute upon so that we can learn to trust that the systems we embark upon everyday are there to assist us in our ability to make more informed choices.

Rethinking IT in the Digital Service Economy

When family members and church family take it upon themselves to impress upon me perspectives they feel should take precedence in my life they find themselves bombarded with a lot more context than they ever wanted to have to bargain for because of how much more advanced my activity contexts tend to be.

Aside from observing their more natural interactions and usage contexts when I am given the chance, over-communicating my own activity contexts to those who will be the most important to my future has become an integrated daily routine of mine to keep them from being so out of touch with my mental model as someone who has such a far more sophisticated social network than theirs and the empirical understanding of knowing what the business advantages are for doing so.

This is perhaps the tradeoff I have made for being connected to so many design disruptors and global service design influencers. Below is a book for those more embedded into IT organizations that are not quite clear on where to begin doing service design work.

In all, over-communicating my activity contexts has become good way for me to be more mindful, accountable and self-aware of my own activity contexts on a day-to-day basis (however annoying it may be).

Here is also a link to a dated paper on the wealth of networks by Yochai Benkler which I recommend for those interested in learning about the value of networks in general.

The Wealth of Networks How Social Production Transforms Markets and Freedom:

This year’s iPhone upgrade experience.

November 1st marks the anniversary of my 5 year resignation and start date with Apple.
Every year since 2007 my wife and I have both had the privilege of upgrading to a new iPhone (one of the perks of being married to an interaction designer). This year’s iPhone upgrade program had a few kinks to be worked out – mostly the result of my own fallibility.
I feel for the people working the retail experience who have to put up with people like me when I go into the store, I have tremendous respect for them (especially on launch day). They are ten times more patient than I will perhaps ever know how to be. Reminds me of what a corporate snob I must appear to be to most people (God help me).
There is at least some satisfaction in knowing that Marissa is enjoying this year’s upgrade.

3 new curated daily news publications.

I recently introduced three curated daily news publications, which I hope your businesses will benefit from as new technologies continue to uproot existing business models.

1) devoted to designing smarter touchpoints for retail, IoT and wearables.

2) A more thoughtful service @ devoted to designing business and disruptive innovation into the public and private sectors.

3) A more human interface @ devoted to NUIs (natural user interfaces), the quantified self and crafting more meaningful product interactions into holistic service experiences.

Festival of Dangerous Ideas 2016

We will be live streaming the Festival of Dangerous Ideas 2016, this weekend live from the Sydney Opera House in Australia in our incubator space on 4th & Market Street.

Stop by and have a beer.



Service Design Sprints @ I Love Mondays


rethinkCAFÉ in collaboration with The London Design Festival and the Service Design Fringe Festival is hosting Service Design Sprints‘ first West Coast Sprint Master’s full day bootcamp on September 19th from our incubator space located in the heart of San Diego’s historic Gaslamp Quarter. Join us, get certified and learn just what it takes to become a world-class Service Design Sprint Master.

In this program you will learn how to innovate and accelerate business using Design Thinking, Service Design and Lean Startup.

This Boot Camp is a global Sprint Master certification that takes place in Brazil, Japan and the Netherlands.

This certification is an 8-hour immersive and practical program that offers guidance to entrepreneurs and business leaders on how to integrate Design Thinking, Service Design and Lean Startup to create sustainable, desirable and profitable service experiences.

The Boot Camp is designed to provide you with the right service design knowledge to so that you can facilitate your own Service Design Sprints. You will learn to execute this process and be provided with tools to solve a Service Design Sprint challenge. You will work in groups and have discussions in order to create solutions that are more relevant from a customer’s point of view.

A Service Design Sprint is a 4-day Design Thinking intervention that brings together clients, customers, managers and designers in a joint effort to redesign a business’ service experience.

In this boot-camp you will learn how to run service design sprints. It is a Design Thinking and Lean Startup integrated approach capable of delivering entire service experience transformations to businesses worldwide.

Sprints fit any kind of business. From a coffee shop or a veterinary hospital to a startup or a B2B company—they even work for large corporations. aims to democratize Service Design, using Design Thinking to create more sustainable, desirable, and profitable services. We are a global community of Sprint Masters that you will get to be a part of.

You will be connected to Sprint Masters around the world to share experiences and learning, create opportunities, expand your network, and even facilitate sprints together.

We’ll equip you with written materials and videos to support you in your sprints so that you can also start selling sprints. You will be equipped with cases and presentations in order to run sprints in any company.

Our community is comprised of a diverse membership. We always say that Design is a mental model or a mindset — it is the way you think about solving problems and not your educational background. You don’t need to have knowledge of Design to participate in our courses, nor do you need to be a Designer.

If you want to undertake positive impact, change the way of working within the company you are in, or just want new lenses and tools for your personal life, you are in the right place!

Today we are more than 150 Sprint Masters across United States, Brazil, the Netherlands, England, France, Spain, and Brazil.


How it works:

1) Q&A
The first part includes a debate to discuss and answer questions about conceptual themes introduced by The Service Startup:: Design Thinking gets Lean (e.g. MVS model) and how works. We will also share some sprint stories and talk about all the opportunities involved in becoming a Sprint Master.

2) Hands-on Sprint Experience
It´s time to get your hands dirty in a Service Design Sprint, from end-to-end. It will be fast, crazy and super fun. We want to give you the tools, thinking and a glimpse of the energy that flows through a service design sprint.

3) Sprint Master Certification
By the end of the boot-camp, you will be certified as a Sprint Master. The certification will allow you to become part of the global community.



By becoming a Sprint Master, you will get access to several benefits:

– Cases and sales toolkit: You will earn credibility and will be able to deliver proven results. By being an active member, you are allowed to use our cases and sprint stories in order to negotiate your own sprints with your prospects. After all, you’re part of our community. So, they are your stories also 🙂

– Experienced Sprint Masters Support: Yes, problems happen all the time. But if you get in trouble, Sprint Masters Trainers will help you with your sprints.

– Reputation and credibility: You want to show how good you are, we know that. Being part of our community of certified Sprint Masters, you will definitely make it happen. Your member profile on the Web site presents your sprints, your assessments and recommendations. Actions speak louder than words. is growing exponentially to become well known in the design community and business organizations around the world.

– Recruiting helpers: Helpers are future Sprint Masters. People will be happy to help in exchange for experience to later become Sprint Masters themselves. They are under your supervision and you will be connected to our social networks and be given training and content exclusive to community members.

Finally, you will be connected to our social networks and have access to training and exclusive content to the community members only.

About connectors:


Founder and CEO. Renato Endo has made a career as chief service designer and project manager for Livework. Renato’s expertise in traditional service design projects has been instrumental in the creation of the sprint master’s management tools and training models. As CEO of, he is a leader in the SM community and makes sure to keep our SM’s connected, honed, and up-to-date.


Founder and CMO. Alessandro Ng has studied both Telecom Engineering and Service Design. He has established a career both as a project manager and business manager for consultancies and large enterprises. At SDS he is responsible for connecting the community to hubs of SMB’s including retail associations, franchisee organizations, and the like.


The Service Design Fringe Festival is a celebration of all things service design. It takes place along side the London Design Festival 15th – 25th September, and is based in the OXO tower, with other events throughout the city.