Data, work hours, and what not to write on your business cards


This week: The Return of the Colleagues! Almost everyone at Ideas Lab has been away on holiday. Now, they are back, and things are busy as usual. Also this week: Great business cards, notebooks for fans of silly art, and thoughts on human data and work hours. Happy reading!


1. The Kick Off

Last week was the Fall Kick Off at Ideas Lab, the incubator I work at. After three weeks with a (mostly) empty office, it’s great to have everyone back. As I mentioned in my guide to coworking spaces, sparring is one of the many reasons why I love working with others. (Playing board games and drinking coffee on Friday afternoons doesn’t hurt either.)


2. The Business Cards

Let's face it: I need proper business cards. Luckily Philip Morley, the amazing founder and creative director of morley and TEDx speaker, introduced me to, a business cards company with really great designs. They look professional and varies from very minimalistic to bright and colourful.

My favourite (which I’m not ordering, though) are the square business cards, which look exactly like playing cards from Cards Against Humanity. For some people it might just look like a minimalistic business card, but for the rest of us it’s a clear reference to the card game.

Btw, I don’t recommend taking too much inspiration from the original CAH cards: “Not wearing pants” and “Being a motherfucking sorcerer” are not necessarily good answers to “What should my business card say?”


3. The Data

While many companies rely on Big Data, there’s also another side to user research: Thick Data. Thick Data is the quantitative studies, where researcher emerges themselves in the user’s habits and environment. The result is stories full of details of how the user live and interact with each other, products, and information.

It’s no secret that if we want to design new product and create new content for a real people, we need in-depth knowledge, and while Big Data can provide us with a lot of answers when it comes to the ‘What’ of the users, Thick Data can provide us with additional information about the users’ *Why’ and ‘How’.

If you want to learn more you should check this great article and TED talk, both by tech ethnographer, Tricia Wang.

“Not wearing pants” and “Being a motherfucking sorcerer” are not necessarily good answers to “What should my business card say?”


4. The Work Hours

When do you leave your office? Working by myself means that I can decide my working hours 100%, and it’s both a blessing and a curse. Generally, I’m happy that I can plan my days as I want to, but there’s always a bit of doubt: Have I put in enough hours today?

Funnily enough, the job where I’ve felt the least pressure, in terms of work hours, was at an office with a pretty old-fashioned approach: Everyone came in at the same time, everyone left at the same time. No one was the first or the last to leave the office, and no one was applauded if they showed up earlier, went home two hours later than everyone else, or worked weekends. Sometimes rules and restrictions can be just as appealing as total freedom.

I’m curious to know what your experience is with work hours. How much control do you have of your working hours, and do you love the total freedom to plan, restrictions, or a happy medium?


5. The Notebook


I’m a big fan of stationary (notebooks in particular) and I’m a big fan of artist David Shrigley, so what could possibly be better than David Shrigley notebooks? When I met up with Philip, he was carrying this notebook. Love it!