This Human by Melis Senova

‼️ Using Attention to Design with Intention ‼️

Published 20 days ago • 2 min read

Your attention please

Picture this…two friends meet at a busy café. One of the friends, Billie, is having a tough time. Their friend Charlie sits quietly, listening intently, offering empathy and compassionate support. Billie feels seen and heard. Their troubles ease.

Here, Charlie’s attention is a moral act, fostering connection and understanding, serving her friend in need.

Let’s add one element to this story: Charlie's phone is on the table. It buzzes incessantly, tempting her away from the present moment. Her attention drifts, fragmented by her own thoughts and stories with each incoming notification. Here, Charlie’s attention becomes a product, easily ‘bought’ by external forces, losing potency and presence. How do you think this impacts Billie’s experience in their time of need?

This story serves to highlight that what we notice, and give energy to, we privilege—we choose to hold as more important.

This is why attention is crucial in design.

Designers set out to bring about meaningful change in the world. We work with diverse populations with vastly different experiences to our own. To design for others' realities with intention and integrity, we need to look for insights in places we wouldn’t naturally be drawn to. We can only design from where our attention is.

And that attention will be heavily influenced by our values.

Values are what draw our attention. This is why it is essential for us to deeply know our own values, and understand how they direct our attention and energy. Just like a beam of sunlight, whatever we shine our attention on, will grow.

Your attention is just as potent. Use it wisely.

You've got this,

PS. Are you ready to get unstuck in parts of your life to help you move in the direction you want to go?

'Redefining Beliefs: Shifting Your Perspective for Greater Impact' is now available to help you with that.

This self-paced course will assist you to uncover your self-limiting beliefs and guide you step by step how to imagine and enact new ones.

If you're feeling stuck and unclear about your next step, this is the course for you. Click on the image below to learn more.

PPS. If you prefer to work with others, join one of our upcoming facilitated courses: Design Character and Stories We Tell Ourselves. Both courses focus on the inner work that's required to make the impact you want to have in the world. They're fun, deep, and practical.

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This Human by Melis Senova

Helping designers lead.

Enabling senior design professionals to be more influential within their organisations. ✨ Author of this human and design character, published by BIS Publishers.📚

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