An Obit A Day

I started 2021 with a series of daily habits to do. Several of them flamed out by mid-January. One of the ones going strong is reading an obit a day. I was inspired by Austin Kleon who in his Show your Work book recommended the practice of reading obituaries daily.

I tried to get into the habit a few years ago but it never lasted. The reason was because I didn’t have a process to help me make the activity fun and keep me motivated. It is easy to get overwhelmed by sheer amount of daily obituaries. 

I have one rule to tackle this; only select the daily obit from one of two sources: The Guardian (UK) or New York Times (US). Both give me a good coverage of notable and notorious deaths. I follow the obituary departments’ Twitter accounts for both papers: @guardianobits and @NYTObits. Every evening I scroll through them and identify one obit to read for that day. After reading the obit, I will select the most interesting quote and share it on Twitter with a link to the source material. This directs folks who come across my obit tweet to the obituary if they like the quote about the person. 

Here are some of my personal favourite obit tweets so far:


Following my Curiosities

Image source: Eflon

It is 2021 and I want to get back into the habit of blogging. I used to blog regularly several years ago and lost momentum. I am a natural procrastinator and if given the opportunity I would procrastinate. My target for 2021 is to write at least 2 blog posts per month and I am making this public so I can hold myself accountable.

What will I blog about?

This has been my biggest mental block and reason for not writing much in the last few years. I couldn’t determine what I wanted this website to be about. Did I want to talk about work related topics or personal interest topics? I was stuck and that led to little creative output. I was also trying to write content that other people would like to read instead of topics that interested me. I realised that I had to be true to myself. The first step towards change is self-awareness.

I am going to follow my curiosities via my blog and see where they lead in in 2021. I invite you to join me on this trip. I have a good feeling that we would learn some interesting things along the way.

Happy New Year.


UCB Word for Today Sample Dialog

Conversation design is about teaching computers to be fluent in human conversation and its conventions.” {Source}

I recently got interested in conversational design and started learning more about the topic via Medium articles, YouTube videos and podcasts. I will curate a list of some of the most useful resources in a future post.

“The role of a conversation designer is like that of an architect, mapping out what users can do in a space, while considering both the user’s needs and the technological constraints. They curate the conversation, defining the flow and its underlying logic in a detailed design specification that represents the complete user experience. They partner with stakeholders and developers to iterate on the designs and bring the experience to life.” {Source}.

A sample dialog is a key tool for conversational designers to map out the interaction between the users and a voice bot. It outlines the conversation flow between a user and a voice bot as they take turns. Sample dialogs are like movie scripts.

Conversational designers create sample dialogs before developers starting coding because they help highlight potential issues so that valuable time and effort aren’t wasted creating the wrong voice product. 

I am a big fan of the UCB Word for Today devotional. which I read every day on my mobile device. I discovered that there is currently not an Alexa Skill/Google Action for it but this is a product that could work as a Skill/Action. I don’t have the skills to build a Skill or Action yet so I focused on developing a happy path sample dialog for a UCB user (below).

I first mapped a sample dialog on the wall using Post it Notes. This gave me the flexibility to move around things, bin notes that didn’t work so I could create a happy path.

First draft

I looked for a free sample dialog builder online but couldn’t find anything satisfactory so I ended up using Google Sheet which met my needs.

Polished draft

Context Interpreters

Image by @olaojo15

I watched a Creative Mornings talk by Alan Webber today. Webber was the co-creator of one of my favourite business magazines – Fast Company. His talk was on the importance of context over content. He argues that context not content is king in a world battling information overload. People need help to make sense of the content they are consuming.


UX Design Challenge Submission

I attended the UX in the City conference a few days ago and really enjoyed it. I took part in a UX design challenge posed by one of the conference’s sponsors – ECOM Recruitment. It was a chance for me to apply my UX skills.

The challenge called “Careers Page Conundrum” required participants to redesign a careers’ page in order to meet the needs of two personas.  There were prizes for the best three submissions.

This blog post is a quick documentation of my thought process behind my submission.


Five Takeaways from Leeds Global Service Jam

Image by @mariecheungsays

Image by @olaojo15

I attended the Leeds Service Jam last weekend and it was great. This was part of the Global Service Jam event held in over eighty cities across the world. I spent 48 hours Jamming (collaborating) with a team to tackle a challenge using service design principles and methods.

Here are my five takeaways from the Jam:

(1) Embrace ambiguity

The 2018 Global Service Jam challenge was “Yes, No, Maybe.” Each team had to make something that will address a service problem using this as a starting point. Imagine a group of strangers who just met each other for the first time on a Friday evening trying to make sense of a “Yes, No, Maybe” challenge. We had to get comfortable with ambiguity really quickly and work together as a team. We brainstormed convergent and divergent ideas using post-it-notes and ‘homelessness’ emerged as a central theme.

Image by @olaojo15


UX Review: NHS Digital Transformation Blog (mobile site) 

This is my first user experience (UX) review of a mobile site and I plan to do more in the future.

I came across the NHS Digital Transformation blog recently, liked the content and wanted to subscribe to it to get more information because of my interest in Service UX design/research.

I quickly realised that the only way to get new NHS DT posts was to make a comment on a blog post which I didn’t want to do. There was simply no alternative subscription option. Here is a short video demonstrating the challenge of trying to subscribe on the site.


Thinking about Change …


I have been thinking about ‘change’ the last few weeks – individual and organisational change.  The diagram above is the first visual draft of this thinking and I am sure that as my thinking on the subject evolves so will the diagram. I will appreciate feedback from you about it as this will help refine my thinking. Please use the comment section below.


2017 Favourite Lists

Image Source: CreditDebitP {CC BY 2.0}

Some of the best things I watched, listened to and read in 2017.


I called him Morgan (Doc)
13th (Doc)
I am not your negro (Doc)
Everything is copy (Doc)
The disappearance of Alice Creed
Nocturnal Animals
The sense of an ending
Hell or high water
Baby Driver


Game of Thrones – Season 7
Power – Season 4
Fargo – Season 3
Shots Fired
Silicon Valley
The Defiant Ones


The Right Opportunity




I posted these two doodles (above) a few days ago on my Instagram page and decided to share it here today with you. We are all looking for the ‘right opportunity’. The opportunity that matches our talents, abilities, passions, interests, skills and experiences. The opportunity that opens the door to other opportunities. Benjamin Disraeli once said that the “one secret of success in life is for a man to be ready for his opportunity when it comes.” Disraeli was British Prime Minister twice in the 1800s.