Why – What – How (or Strategic Thinking 101)

The WHY – WHAT – HOW of everything you do, but especially work should always be in this order.

Here is a nice slide deck from information architect Abby Covert that explains WHY, WHAT and HOW and their relationships (see slides 22-57):

Strategic thinking means that everything you do is goal-directed. Feel free to make the connection to Cooper’s goal-directed design. Whose goals is Cooper talking about? Whose goals am I talking about here?

What do you get out of this presentation? Does it change anything for you? What sense do you make out of it? Please let me know in the comments.

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  1. This can apply to every type of work, it can definitely help me to manage the time of my own research work and ask the right question.

    • It certainly applies to research, and beyond – to life. For example, if I ask you to be involved with a project – how do you decide whether to say yes or no? Well, how does it align with your graduation goals? With your life goals?

  2. The goals Cooper talks about are users’ goals. Here, the goals are more like the designers’ goals, and also, apply to many things we do in life. I became to understand that life goal is not an empty statement, it directs specific actions. Specific goals should be specific, measurable, achievable, relevant, time-bound and ladder up to the directional goal. I had a conversation with a friend earlier. He told me his dream is to become an astronaut, he also wants to get married, have family, and have enough money for touring around the world. But he is in EE rather than AE, and he often feels lost in a lot of life choices. According to these slides, I think he has some directional goals, but he doesn’t have many specific, measurable, achievable, relevant, and time-bound goals that could ladder up to his life goals.

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