#15 The Data Designer

It’s my pleasure to introduce you to Devon Walshe. I first met Devon when he worked with Snook to create the Learning Journey Data Jam. Devon is the technical lead for Open Glasgow, helping to lead the City Data Team, whose mission is to realise Glasgow as a city that is open by default. He works with Glasgow City Council and public bodies to identify public data, prepare it for consumption and publish it through our open data portal – data.glasgow.gov.uk.

I’m thrilled Devon is going to spend two days with the Digital Experience Design students as part of their Experience Design Exploration project. He will be introducing the students to data and design and integrating quantitative measures into the design process.

Here’s what he has to say…

 1. What’s the biggest lesson you’ve learnt over the last year?

 I’m not sure if I can isolate one thing that has had the biggest impact on my understanding of things this year, but one evolving lesson that keeps on giving is to believe in and value yourself. As a process, life will always challenge you and present new opportunities to learn. By valuing and believing in yourself you are investing in your ability to weather challenges, continue learning and being a positive force in your own and other people’s lives.


2. What’s your burning question of the moment?

 They all burn! I suppose the most vexatious one for me at the moment is what is the best way to bring people along on a journey of innovation. I’m currently working on a project in the public sector which (thankfully) is a risk averse environment. Unlike businesses, failure isn’t a realistic option or outcome for a government to consider. Innovation certainly has a place in the public sector however and the challenge for me and my team is how to improve service and expand the concept of what is possible for people going about their daily activities in government.

We’re always looking into common motivations, if you can understand those, you can build a powerful message and start people on a journey where they can embrace change and improvement to service.

3. What’s the most inspiring thing you’ve seen/ heard/ read in the last year?

Nothing specific but I’ve been spending a bit more time thinking about stoicism and skepticism and its role in our daily lives. I’m not sure I’m a convert just yet but I do see the value in being present and keeping things simple. There have been some great articles recently about what stoicism means in a modern context, including this interesting op-ed in the New York Times. Brain Pickings is also a consistent source of inspiration and reading material.

You can hear our other industry connections answer the same questions over here:

#14 The Experience Designer

#13 The Design Teacher

#12 The Creative Technologist

#11 The Creative Generalist

#10 The Hyper Island Designe

#9 The Conscious Designer

#8 The Business Designer

#7 The Networked Designer

#6 The Speculative Designer

#5 The Digital Maker

#4 The Craftsman

#3 The Storyteller

#2 The Dreaming Maker 

#1 The Go-Getter.