Category: Uncategorized

d.SCI: Intersecting Information Design, Dataviz and Cognitive Art

I am joining a discussion on Information Visualization and Interaction Design… and the integral role of Cognitive Art to deliver innovative HCI (Human-Computer-Interfaces.)

Heare are sample projects that I have been involved in. This set showcases: multi-modal user interfaces, metaphorical abstractions, and cognitive models, as well as ergonomic form factors that optimize for extreme ease of use.

d.SCI refers to a methodology that I am working on which purposely intersects design and science. In this particular discussion, human congition and affect are the topics of interest.

Project Portfolio - 1

Project Portfolio - 2

Project Portfolio - 4

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Project Portfolio - 7

Project Portfolio - 6b

Project Portfolio - 8

Project Portfolio - 9

Project Portfolio - 10


Debunking Design Thinking Myths

“Reflecting the diversity of the agenda, we are thankful for the support of our advisory board. The board is integral to the development and execution of Design Thinking, supporting the strategic positioning of the brand and advising to the content and participants that matter most. Hear from some of the greatest minds in Design Thinking as they shed a light on its mysteries and separate fact from fiction.”

Debunking Design Myths CoverDesign Thinking Advisory Board.jpgDesign Thinking - Jose de Francisco 1

Design Thinking - Jose de Francisco 2

Design Thinking Agenda



Agile Software in a Hardware World


“The world of IoT and connected devices is expanding rapidly. We all carry super computers in our pockets and interact with everything from home automation, cars, consumer electronics, and healthcare devices.”

“In this complex hardware + software environment the product development cycle can be tricky. For example, you can’t just follow agile software practices by the book when you’re building a connected pace maker. So how do we approach product development when the stakes are high and the moving parts are many? During this discussion we’ll be tackling topics such as:”

“How do you roadmap a product which includes both hardware and software components? How does agile development fit in? How does the regulatory landscape affect how we approach development and iteration? How do you build teams around these integrated products? And how do you keep them in sync and working together?”


I’d first like to thank the team at DevMynd for their kind invitation. I am looking forward to joining the panel discussion in Chicago this coming Thursday, February 22. In the meantime, I will welcome any comments and insights as I gear up for this discussion.

I’m working on outlining some of the myths, dilemmas and trade-offs that I have encounter as an Industrial Designer and in Product Management.

From a design perspective, there are two topics worth looking at: Design Thinking as a Human-Centered methodology and its outcomes in terms of: (a) utility, (b) usability, (c) consumability, (d) affectivity and (e) the composite and differential value of the resulting digital experiences that involve software and hardware.

This “new brave world” equips us with the freedom to explore new form factors, cognitive models and, most impoartantly, the development human x technology networks. Some of the specifics come down to design semantics re-defining HMS, Human-Machine-Systems, in the context of multi-modal user interfaces and innovative interactions where Machine Learning and new visualization paradigms happen to surface.

From a Product Management viewpoint, there is a need for also pondering about how to best leverage Design Thinking beyond Industrial Design and Software Development to talkle product and service strategy. Here my focus gravitates toward addressing: (a) success factors and (b) limiting factors under control, as well as (d) other determining factors beyond our area of influence that can impact the difussion of innovations either possitively or negatively. Moreover, I like to couple business model innovation with behavioral economics and information network effects.

This construct really boils down to capturing the essence behind (e) stakeholders’ acceptance criteria and (f) the users’ engagement, adoption and growth rates. This means defining capability and maturity levels and how to best factor for the fact that they adapt and evolve over time. Obviously, this leads to taking a close look at how to best intersect Lean and Agile practies, but not only, so that we can lead and navigate constantly changing environments in “digital time.”

Let’s get down to a more tactical level: end-to-end system design entails a mix of loosely and tightly coupled elements, and a platform approach to operate at speed, scale and wider scope that what black boxes can match. A reality check unveils a hybrid world where decisions on capacity and performance levels, as well as serviceability and dependency levels drive decisions toward optimizing for distributed systems and, therefore, the rising value of end-to-end solutions vs. point solutions only.

In that context, inter-disciplinary teams involving creative technologists and domain experts make our organizations effectively diverse, smarter and innovative. Otherwise, self-defeating arrogance, conflicting silos and technical myopia can make pre-production and production be costlier by promoting unncessary friction and getting everyone to work harder and harder rather than smarter. Typically, that negates productivity, forces a number corrective actions, and significantly shifts and/or downsizex sought after results.

The beauty of the Studio’s human-experience-centered practice is a healthy obssession for delivering “meaning.” The definition of “meaningful outcomes” (rather than churning outputs) makes these organizations behave based on value and impact. We strive to foster not just customer satisfaction and net promoter scores, but measurable customer delight and network effects (superior and service-level performance indicators) which, in turn, set and streamline technical requirements.

Long story short, the Studio’s mindset (critical thinking / wonder & discovery / problem solving) and workstyle (collaborative / experiential / iterative / adaptive) help explain why creative technologysts are instrumental and serial innovation engines for the digital age.


Footnote: the term “team of creative technologysts” was first coined by Nokia Bell Labs back in the 1940s to single out the differentiated value of inter-disciplinary undertakings. In the late forties, Bell Labs’ Clauded Shannon pioneered Information Theory and John Karlin set up the first Human Factors Engineering in industry. That HFE team was formed by a pyschologist, a statistician (the father of quality control visualization,) an engineer, and a physicist.

MIT Institute for Data, Systems, and Society (IDSS)

“The mission of IDSS is to advance education and research in state-of-the-art, analytical methods in information and decision systems; statistics and data science; and the social sciences, and to apply these methods to address complex societal challenges in a diverse set of areas such as finance, energy systems, urbanization, social networks, and health.”  – MIT IDSS.


I just came back from IDSS’ last Advisory Board workshop and would first like to thank Prof. Munther Dahleh, IDSS Director, for his leadership and all of the information shared and exchanged this week. I would also like to thank Elizabeth Sikorovsky, Executive Director, and Jackie Willburg, External Relations Officer, for all the help and a welcoming and productive atmosphere, which one gets easily accustomed to and can, therefore, inadvertently take for granted. Admittedly, I need to state my apologies for missing quite a few of the names of good people involved in the planning and support activities.

During the workshop, I couldn’t help thinking about the similarities between MIT IDSS and the charter of Solutions & Partners, the business unit that I am part of at Nokia’s Applications & Analytics Group. Both happen to be tasked with creating new offerings by working across different university departments and product portfolios respectively. Both are expected to make a difference by enabling the greater value of the whole. That entails a silo bursting approach and figuring out how to best innovate at the intersection of, otherwise, disparate domains.

These two organizations’ ability to (a) remove barriers, (b) pave a common ground, (c) enable integration speed and (d) achieve critical mass happen to be critical success factors. Whether we call it cross-pollination or cross-fertilization, the goal is to set up an interdisciplinary environment and, most importantly, an organizational mindset and workstyle leading to breakthroughs otherwise hard to attain. There are two kinds of professional profiles involved: domain experts with deep know-how in their specific areas and creative technologists who can define vantage points, connect dots and work across domains.

There is one more thing worth highlighting: MIT’s IDSS seeks to address humankind’s societal challenges and Nokia’s S&P leverages Human Factors Engineering, both happen to be “people centered,” focus on complex environments and strive to humanize technology in the process. So, I am proud to be involved with both.


MIT IDSS Advisory Board

See you in Barcelona



First, I’d like to thank those of you who have already kept in touch. I am looking forward to meeting you Barcelona. I would also like to credit @EdElkin1 and @ALU_Cloud for retweeting my earlier post on this topic:

I also plan to attend Mobile Monday’s Mobile Sunday and TechCrunch + Bubble Over Barcelona.

Here is an updated schedule:

  • Sun, Feb 23 – Cocktail Party held by UBM Tech’s Light Reading and Heavy Reading teams.
  • Sun, Feb 23 – Mobile Monday’s Mobile Sunday
  • Mon, Feb 24-27 – Alcatel-Lucent’s booth at Mobile World Congress: Where Mobile Meets Cloud – Cloud Communications Platform – demo station 2A.
  • Mon, Feb 24 – TechCrunch + Bubble Over Barcelona.
  • Wed, Feb 26 – Conference and dinner organized by the Society of Telecommunications Consultants.