Exploring how generative AI could superpower research outputs to foster greater empathy and engagement

With the release of GPT-4 and the growing interest in open-source generative AIs such as DALL-E 2, Midjourney, and more, there is no dearth of people writing about and commenting on the potential positive and negative impacts of AI, and how it might change work in general and design work specifically. As we sought to familiarize ourselves with many of these tools and technologies, we immediately recognized the potential risks and dangers, but also the prospects for generative AI to augment how we do research and communicate findings and insights.

Looking at some of the typical methods and deliverables of the human-centered design process, we not only saw practical opportunities for AI to support our work in the nearer term, but also some more experimental, less obvious (and, in some cases, potentially problematic) opportunities further out in the future.

More Obvious

Summarizing existing academic and industry research

Identifying subject matter experts and distilling their knowledge and opinions

Supporting researchers with AI notetakers to expedite analysis and synthesis

Supporting participants in the co-design process with generative AI tools to help them better express, articulate, and illustrate their ideas


Leveraging bots as surrogate researchers for conducting highly structured user interviews on a large scale

Replacing human research subjects entirely for more cursory, foundational, gen pop research

Creating more engaging, sticky, and memorable outputs and deliverables, for example, a life-like interactive persona

Now, while each of the above use cases merits its own deep dive, in this article we want to focus on how advances in AI could potentially transform one common, well-established output of HCD research: the persona.

Breathing new life into an old standard

A persona is a fictional, yet realistic, description of a typical or target user of a product. It’s an archetype based on a synthesis of research with real humans that summarizes and describes their needs, concerns, goals, behaviors, and other relevant background information.

Personas are meant to foster empathy for the users for whom we design and develop products and services. They are meant to support designers, developers, planners, strategists, copywriters, marketers, and other stakeholders build greater understanding and make better decisions grounded in research.

But personas tend to be flat, static, and reductive—often taking the form of posters or slide decks and highly susceptible to getting lost and forgotten on shelves, hard drives, or in the cloud. Is that the best we can do? Why aren’t these very common research outputs of the human-centered design process, well, a little more “alive” and engaging?

Peering into a possible future with “live personas”

Imagine a persona “bot” that not only conveys critical information about user goals, needs, behaviors, and demographics, but also has an image, likeness, voice, and personality? What if those persona posters on the wall could talk? What if all the various members and stakeholders of product, service, and solution teams could interact with these archetypal users, and in doing so, deepen their understanding of and empathy for them and their needs?

In that spirit, we decided to use currently available, off-the-shelf, mostly or completely free AI tools to see if we could re-imagine the persona into something more personal, dynamic, and interactive—or, what we’ll call for now, a “live persona.” What follows is the output of our experiments.

As you’ll see in the video below, we created two high school student personas, abstracted and generalized from research conducted in the postsecondary education space. One is more confident and proactive; the other more anxious and passive.

Now, without further ado, meet María and Malik:

Chatting with María and Malik, two “live personas”

Looking a bit closer under the hood

Each of our live personas began as, essentially, a chatbot. We looked at tools like Character.ai and Inworld, and ultimately built María and Malik in the latter. Inworld is intended to be a development platform for game characters, but many of the ideas and capabilities in it are intriguing in the context of personas, like personality and mood attributes that are adjustable, personal and common knowledge sets, goals and actions, and scenes. While we did not explore all those features, we did create two high school student personas representing a couple “extremes” with regards to thinking about and planning their post-secondary future: a more passive and uncertain María and a more proactive and confident Malik.

Here’s a peek at how we created Malik from scratch:

Making Malik, a “live persona”

Interacting with María and Malik, it was immediately evident how these two archetypes were similar and different. But they still felt a tad cartoonish and robotic. So, we took some steps to improve progressively on their appearance, voices, and expressiveness.

Here’s a peek at how we made María progressively more realistic by combining several different generative AI and other tools:

Making María, a “live persona,” progressively more realistic

Eyeing the future cautiously

The gaming industry is already leading in the development of AI-powered characters, so it certainly seems logical to consider applying many of those precedents, principles, tools, and techniques to aspects of our own work in the broader design of solutions, experiences, and services. Our experimentation with several generative AI tools available today shows that it is indeed possible to create relatively lifelike and engaging interactive personas—though perhaps not entirely efficiently (yet). And, in fact, we might be able to do more than just create individual personas to chat with; we could create scenes or even metaverse environments containing multiple live personas that interact with each other and then observe how those interactions play out. In this scenario, our research might inform the design of a specific service or experience (e.g., a patient-provider interaction or a retail experience). Building AI-powered personas and running “simulations” with them could potentially help design teams prototype a new or enhanced experience.

But, while it’s fun and easy to imagine more animated, captivating research and design outputs utilizing generative AI, it’s important to pause and appreciate the numerous inherent risks and potential unintended consequences of AI—practical, ethical, and otherwise. Here are just a few that come to mind:

  • Algorithmically-generated outputs could perpetuate biases and stereotypes because AIs are only as good as the data they are trained on.
  • AIs are known to have hallucinations, in which they may respond over-confidently in a way that doesn’t seem justified or aligned with their training data—or, as we’ve additionally configured, with the definitions, descriptions, and parameters of an AI-powered persona. Those hallucinations, in turn, could influence someone to make a product development decision that might unintentionally cause harm or disservice.
  • AIs could be designed to continuously learn and evolve over time, taking in all previous conversations and potentially steering users towards the answers they think they’d want rather than reflecting the data they were originally trained on. This would negate the purpose of the outputs and could result in poor product development decisions.
  • People could develop a deep sense of connection and emotional attachment to AIs that look, sound, and feel humanlike—in fact, they already have. It’s an important first principle that AIs be transparent and proactively communicate that they are AIs, but when the underlying models become more and more truthful and they are embodied in more realistic and charismatic ways, then it becomes more probable that users might develop trust and affinity towards them. Imagine how much more potentially serious a hallucination becomes, even if a bot states upfront that it is fictitious and powered by AI!

Finally, do we even really want design personas that have so much to say?! Leveraging generative AI in any of these ways, without thoughtful deliberation, could ultimately lead us to over-index on attraction and engagement with the artifact at the expense of its primary purpose. Even if we could “train” live personas to accurately reflect the core ideas and insights that are germane to designing user-centered products and services, would giving them the gift of gab just end up muddling the message?

In short, designing live personas would have to consider these consequences very carefully. Guardrails might be needed, such as limiting the types of questions and requests that a user may ask the persona, making the persona “stateless” so it can’t remember previous conversations, capping the amount of time users can interact with the persona, and having the persona remind the user that they are fictitious at various points during a conversation. Ultimately, personas must remain true to their original intent and accurately represent the research insights and data that bore them.

And further, even if applying generative AI technologies in these ways becomes sufficiently accessible and cost-effective, it will still behoove us to remember that they are still only tools that we might use as part of our greater research and design processes, and that we should not be over-swayed nor base major decisions on something a bot says, as charming as they might be.

Though it’s still early days, what do you think about the original premise? Could Al-enabled research outputs that are more interactive and engaging actually foster greater empathy and understanding of target end-users and could that lead to better strategy, design, development, and implementation decisions? Or will the effort required, and possible risks of AI-enabled research outputs outweigh their possible benefits?

Illustration by Marine Au Yeung

Recently, an article on Fast Company made the announcement that corporate America broke up with design, citing that companies who were once green with Apple-envy and hungry for transformation are now jaded after realizing that “design is rarely the thing that determines whether something succeeds in the market.” Add in the recent corporate silence on the topic of design, and rumors abound – apparently design and corporate America are in trouble.

But does this really mean the relationship has fizzled out? Or could it instead be a time for reflection, re-evaluation, and evolution? Three of our Design and Strategy Directors respond to these questions and more –

Corporate America didn’t break up with design. It broke up with the mythological promise design firms sold them.

Jeff Turkelson, Strategy Director

‘Design will allow you to disrupt, transform, create and lead industries. Just do some research, run some workshops with sticky notes, prototype, and you’ll be onto  something that no one else could dream of!’

These are the false promises that corporate America has broken up with. But, there were always dissenters, Don Norman himself said it:

“Design research is great when it comes to improving existing product categories but essentially useless when it comes to new, innovative breakthroughs.”

Flash forward to today, and the hype around being a design-led organization is pretty much dead. But corporate America has embraced design in a more traditional sense—significantly expanding internal design teams—not to think of radical breakthroughs but to create good user experiences that are usable and delightful.

It’s in many ways a reversion back to the decades-old paradigm of user-centered design (though often twisted by profit incentives, e.g. designing to maximize engagement or conversion rates rather than truly serve the user).

However, the spirit of human-centered design (HCD) is not lost. It has evolved. While the idea of being a “design-led” organization has lost its allure and most in-house practitioners are focused on traditional craft, design’s value to business was always secondary to the value designers sought to bring to humans. And for perhaps largely external reasons, many corporations have begun to embrace HCD’s value-based themes: designing for accessibility, inclusion, equity, etc.

Here we see design intersect with the responsible technology movement— designers, technologists, activists, and more, seeking to create positive outcomes or at least mitigate harms. Designers don’t get to say they own this broader movement but they do play an important role in its evolution.

What goes in comes out: amplify design’s value by doing these four things.

Chad Hall, Design Director

Companies green with “Apple envy” may have invested billions of dollars in design, but few did it well, and most in a way vastly different from the design-centric companies they looked up to. Here are four easy to overlook things they could do to better gain value from design.

1. Understand the complexity of problem spaces

“Simplicity and complexity need each other,” (John Maeda), a.k.a. there can be no simplicity without complexity. Designers work hard to obfuscate the complexity that exists in the products, services, strategies, and processes we work on. Understanding and allowing time and space to work through these complexities is paramount. If designers or companies don’t understand the complexities of what they work on and invest the time and resources to make sense of it, they’ll never be able to simplify anything down into a ‘magical solution.’

2. Foster seamless interdisciplinary collaboration

Design works best when not in a vacuum. Too often, I see these situations that prevent seamless experiences: A product team separated from key decision makers; A care team that doesn’t have good insight into their patient’s experience; An education board that is far removed from the students and communities it aims to impact.

Seamless customer experiences are a product of seamless interdisciplinary collaboration. Working alongside an interdisciplinary team with deep understandings of different industries, domains, processes, or organizations at hand, designers become experts in not only crafting forms, but leveraging their knowledge to become experts in facilitating processes. 

3. Align power and incentives with desired outcomes

If companies want transformation, they need to examine their internal power and incentives structures. It’s not enough to have a vision. Fragmented teams and inequitable power in decision making yield products with poor outcomes.

To make seamless experiences, the customer experience must be singular above internal organizational divisions, product categories, and even earnings reports in some cases. The organization and culture must support this collaboration; allowing, motivating, and empowering employees to make decisions that work toward the shared goal of a seamless customer experience. Rather we often see internal competition, tailoring outcomes to please a HiPPO (Highest Paid Person’s Opinion), or misaligned performance measurements that incentivize personal decisions over preferable product outcomes. While most organizations might have the vision, they don’t align the distribution of power and incentives to get the outcomes they seek.

4. Be curious about the unknown

Many companies have implemented design in a risk-averse way. Expecting transformation without accepting a level of risk leads to disappointment. To curb risk, we’ve turned a designer’s intuition and mastery of skills into a scalable and repeatable process built upon the scientific method. Design Thinking and Human-Centered Design have proliferated. These are great at identifying existing pain points and undiscovered needs, but lend toward refining existing solutions through incremental improvements. This has merit and need in products today. But, it’s not going to rock the boat.

To make large leaps, we must allow imagination and intuition back into the process. Designer’s, through years of mastery, are primed to make unexpected connections that can lead to new innovations. But, this process is nearly impossible to evaluate and scale. It pushes us into the unknown future and to rely somewhat on intuition. In our data-driven world, this is uncomfortable! It’s an inherent risk. But, a risk that could lead to a potential big win.

Design is expanding and evolving — we’re counting on corporate America to do the same

Joan Stoeckle, Design Director

Design is baked into countless experiences we encounter on a daily basis – ordering ahead for curbside pickup, communicating with our healthcare providers through patient portals, and of course in the devices we use for hours each day. We’ve become so accustomed to frictionless, carefully-designed experiences that the occasional encounter with an outdated tool can feel downright grating by contrast. Were corporations truly to break up with design, as customers and consumers we would definitely notice. Perhaps their common understanding of design was too narrow from the start.

Although design was historically associated with the creation of beautiful objects and innovative products, today we also interact with invisible forms of design in the services and systems we use and are a part of. Not only was our home’s smart speaker designed, but so was the AI and the specific phrases used to communicate with it, and we are as much components of that system as the speaker itself. The expansion of design into different contexts and ways of interacting with people and systems certainly represents new and exciting frontiers for innovation, but many designers and organizations are also exploring novel and alternative approaches to the processes and practice of design – not just its outputs. 

User-centered design established a baseline of orienting around the needs of end-users. Human-centered design helps foster a more holistic view of people as more than just ‘users’ of a product, anchored in understanding motivations, behaviors, values, and more. Elements of each are central to the design thinking process that was adopted by many companies. But there are concerns that focusing only on the needs of target users results in a myopic view of challenges and opportunities and can lead to unintended consequences (ex. worker injuries in warehouses that are struggling to meet consumer demand for rapid shipping). In response, designers and organizations are questioning and reframing the process of design to foster equity and inclusion, design for diverse and complex needs, and create more sustainable futures.

The practice of design is expanding and evolving in response to social, economic, and environmental realities. Will corporations also take informed action by evolving how and with whom they create products, services, and systems? Or will many of them, as the article suggests, walk away from a narrow and outdated notion of design?

At Artefact we continue to evolve our methods in support of our mission to create better futures: taking a more holistic view through stakeholder mapping, establishing best practices for trauma-informed design research, reflecting diversity of needs and mindsets through persona spectra, guiding participatory and co-design processes, reflecting on possible unintended consequences, and more.

Image source: Fast Company

Fast Company honors Artefact with three Innovation by Design awards

A version of this press release first appeared on PR Newswire

Fast Company has honored Artefact, a design and strategy firm with a mission to create better futures, as a winner and honorable mention across three categories of the 2022 Innovation by Design Awards: Rapid Response, Healthcare, and Experimental.

Fast Company’s October 2022 issue celebrates visionary design that solves the most crucial problems of today and anticipates the pressing issues of tomorrow. Celebrating more than a decade of Innovation by Design, this year’s honorees feature a range of finalists from Fortune 500 to small, impactful firms. Entries are judged on the key ingredients of innovation: functionality, originality, beauty, sustainability, user insight, cultural impact, and business impact.

“We are honored to have our work in emergency preparedness, healthcare, and retail recognized. We believe that thinking about unintended consequences and all stakeholders is critical to bringing positive change in the world. Artefact is proud to work with individuals, communities, and organizations to create a better future, by design.”

Sabrina Boler, COO of Artefact

Artefact was recognized across three categories for the following work —

Navis: Emergency preparedness

Winner for Rapid Response

Navis is a conceptual emergency preparedness system that guides people in planning for, and responding to, crisis scenarios. The concept uses conversational UI and augmented reality to help people create a personalized emergency plan on their preferred devices. A durable home hub helps people stay connected during an emergency and translate plans into action.

AdaptDX Pro: Diagnosing macular degeneration

Honorable Mention for Healthcare

Artefact partnered with MacuLogix to help create AdaptDX Pro, the first portable, wearable, and AI-integrated ophthalmic screening system for age-related macular degeneration on the market. The AdaptDx Pro overcame the challenges of traditional ophthalmic devices by rethinking the patient and technician experience, and led to earlier, more accurate diagnosis and disease management. The AdaptDX Pro first shipped in June 2020, and over the past several years has performed over 1 million tests across 1200 eyecare practices. Today, AdaptDx Pro is owned by LumiThera.

Future of shopping and food retail

Honorable Mention for Experimental

We imagined three ways that emerging technology might help customers shop with more confidence during the pandemic, while ensuring businesses efficiently manage guest volume, protect employees, and sustain revenue by guiding safe customer behavior, forecasting risk, and bringing the best of in-store shopping, online.

About Artefact
Artefact is a visionary design and strategy firm with a mission to create better futures. By partnering with leaders and approaching the toughest challenges with equal parts creativity and pragmatism, we deliver lasting change. Headquartered in Seattle, our award-winning team includes researchers, strategists, and designers with a passion for excellence and impact. Connect with us today.

About Fast Company

Fast Company is the only media brand fully dedicated to the vital intersection of business, innovation, and design, engaging the most influential leaders, companies, and thinkers on the future of business. Winners, finalists, and honorable mentions of Fast Company’s sought-after Innovation by Design Awards can be found online and in the October issue of the print magazine, on newsstands September 27, 2022.

The UX 2030 Series

As emerging technology becomes an increasingly ubiquitous part of our lives, the design decisions we make today will shape how these technologies impact the world over the decade to come.

This series envisions how we might apply emerging technology in specific industries to create positive impact. We’ll explore what might accelerate or hinder these realities and the key risk areas and unintended consequences to consider.

Illustration by Laura Carr

A version of this article was first published in IoT Now.

Access to healthy food is a staggering problem in the U.S. Some 19 million Americans live in food deserts, while up to 40% of food produced in the U.S. goes to waste. Moreover, the production, transportation, and distribution of food is the fifth-highest contributor to greenhouse gas emissions in the country. It’s clear that the existing food system faces an overwhelming efficiency problem.

Growing food is a reasonably well-understood science that humans have iterated on for thousands of years. Yet despite advancements in technology, agriculture is still one of the least digitized of all major industries, according to McKinsey. There is enormous opportunity to combine agricultural technology with the proliferation of the Internet of Things (IoT) to improve access to food in underserved communities.

We imagine a 2030 where IoT-enabled circular food production democratizes agricultural skills, improves efficiency, and can be personalized to meet community needs. These community solutions would augment – not replace – the existing agricultural system, providing supplementary access to healthy foods to those most in need.

So how do we get there – and what risks will we face along the way?

More accessible, efficient, and personalized food production

IoT has the unique ability to integrate and automate tasks that would require significant expertise or time, greatly improving efficiencies and offering novel ways to personalize experiences. As IoT evolves over the next decade, how might this technology help improve access to food?

Democratizing skills

While existing personal and community gardens have an important role to play in food access and urban development, they can be unrealistic to scale. The knowledge and work required to sow, tend, and harvest food at the right time and in the right way every day is a daunting task for anyone, especially those living in food deserts or underserved communities.

An automated IoT system could address this challenge by bringing specialized farming knowledge to laypeople. Imagine a communal rooftop garden on an apartment or commercial building where healthy produce can grow throughout the year. Yet rather than the people living or working in the building tending to the crops, the garden would be managed by a web of sensors, automated watering systems, and robotics for tasks such as sowing, pruning, and harvesting.

Specialized sensors could take on specific tasks of measuring watering levels, soil nutrition, as well as plant ripeness and health. With IoT sensors and fully connected system-on-a-chip (SoC) devices continuously becoming cheaper, a monitoring device could be deployed for nearly every plant on a rooftop garden. This means the time-consuming task of tending to plants can be carried out by inexpensive electronics rather than humans, reducing barriers to access and allowing more people to participate in, and reap the benefits of, urban farming.

Improving efficiencies

Humans are increasingly developing novel and more sustainable ways to farm that involve less – or better managed – water, light, and soil. Combined with the possibilities of machine learning to identify the best time and manner to tend to and harvest plants, by 2030 we could establish robust farming operations in almost any location.

As systems of IoT-enabled devices and sensors work together in harmony to measure water and nutrient levels for each plant and communicate with connected pumps and other delivery systems, machine learning can aggregate these vast amounts of data and drive inputs which ensure ideal growth conditions. Rainwater collection systems, coupled with weather prediction models, could determine optimal watering schedules. Devices might direct the sun throughout the day to plants that need it most, or capture sunlight itself and store its energy for cloudy days.

An IoT-enabled system layer can manage the individual technologies used to grow food and organize which gardens might be best suited for which plants based on growing conditions inherent to its location and predictions for the needs of the people living in that community.

Community personalization

The connected and automated nature of IoT is well-placed to help determine a community’s real-time food needs and provide personalized distribution.

Just as the IoT system in aggregate could predict climate and resulting crop yields, it could also determine consumption patterns based on daily habits and anticipate the irregularities of a family and community’s schedules. Machine learning could detect patterns and anticipate food supply needs across a community, in order to allocate space to the produce in highest demand and efficiently distribute available produce within the community. A fully automated, communal garden could also be connected with other automated gardens, allowing for win-win sharing of crops and eliminating surplus that might otherwise go to waste.

Multiple communities could together make up a large system of interdependencies that can optimize the use of technology while distributing up-front costs across different investing areas. Even greater impact could come from partnering with existing local organizations such as food banks and community centers.

Addressing risk areas

Implementing such a complex, interconnected solution requires not only an understanding of human needs and technological constraints, but also the broader economic and social impact.


While the cost of IoT technology is continuously decreasing, the overall costs of establishing such a system are still significant. There unfortunately aren’t many examples of new technology adopted by underserved communities first – typically, those who can afford it create the economies of scale that make the technology accessible to a wider audience. Depending on population and density, a system such as this might not make financial sense for every food desert or underserved community – for example, distributing infrastructure costs may work for thousands of apartment dwellers but not for a hundred small-town inhabitants.

However, we have to look beyond the short-term investment costs and consider the long-term benefits of this system that other industries and stakeholders might find valuable. Start-ups like AeroFarms and Vertical Harvest are already leveraging technology to bring vertical farming to urban communities in the U.S., and governments are taking note as well: Singapore aims to triple domestic food production by 2030 through the use of technology-backed systems like multi-story urban LED farms and recirculating aquaculture systems. Industries from retail to healthcare could see a case for pursuing the positive long-term health outcomes of providing people with access to healthier food options. 


Any system that relies on tremendous data collection in order to fuel machine learning models needs to be fortified against misuse of data and have a clear perspective on who retains control of it.

A highly interconnected system of IoT devices, robots, and machine learning models raises concerns about how privacy and user consent would be managed. Would people or communities be comfortable sharing their food consumption habits? Who else would have access to that information?

Privacy concerns may also be more significant for some communities than others. Lack of trust in government and centralized organizational bodies may be a barrier to adoption of a system that assumes people would be comfortable letting something as personal as food be handled by robots that are invisibly managed. Care must be taken to co-design such as system with members of the community, educate them on how it works, what data is collected, and how community members are empowered to control it.

Behavior Change

Access to healthier foods alone does not ensure that people will use them. What we eat is a very personal decision with social, cultural, and educational impacts. How might systems like this change the relationships people and communities have with food? Could these systems support existing community organizations and resources that have a strong understanding of their communities’ unique needs? At the individual level, could they help people live and eat healthier?

Providing healthy produce is only one aspect of systemic change that helps people build new, sustainable eating habits. There will be a need for instruction and guidance in terms of nutrition, recipes, and motivation in order to encourage behavior change for those with busy schedules or no awareness or interest in adapting their lifestyle habits.

Designing with, not for

IoT represents a unique opportunity to solve some of the inefficiencies of food production and distribution, and with that, the ability to address inequities in food access.

Nevertheless, there are important challenges involved in creating an infrastructure that impacts such an important aspect of what we as humans need to survive. As designers, it’s critical to engage with communities of use when considering such systems, elevating their needs and lived experiences, and ensuring that we design with, not for, them. Moreover, we need to approach such problems with a systems-thinking mindset that considers all people and groups potentially affected by the change, whether they ever come in direct contact with it or not.

It’s a difficult challenge, but an imperative to avoid unforeseen consequences and design for preferable outcomes. In leveraging this responsible design approach, we might imagine a future where IoT is used not only to bring healthy food closer to underserved areas, but bring people closer to each other, as a community.

The pandemic has demonstrated the healthcare industry’s ability and appetite to adopt models of care that meet patients where they are – whether online, at home, or in the community.

In this webinar, Artefact sits down with Sara Vaezy, Chief Digital and Growth Strategy Officer at Providence and Dr. Shantanu Nundy, physician and Chief Medical Officer at Accolade, to explore the innovative and accelerated models of care here in the U.S. that are impacting not only patients today but also the patient experience in the years to come.

We explore:

  • Opportunities and risks in distributed care models such as hospitalization at home; digital models such as telemedicine for behavioral health; and decentralized models such as subscription-based care
  • What these evolving models of care mean for the patient experience, their relationship with care providers, and greater health outcomes
  • How evolving care models that center the patient might support greater inclusion and equity, creating new opportunities to reach underserved populations

The pandemic has upended education as we know it. School districts and universities across the country were overwhelmingly unprepared for the overnight shift to long-term distance learning and its resulting consequences around equity, relationships, and alignment. 

While schools and teachers have shown great courage and ingenuity in rapidly adopting technology that was not designed to address these challenges, this very technology can contribute to exacerbating inequity, weakened student-teacher relationships, and fragmented systems. There is ample opportunity for EdTech to better support teachers, students, and families in the current remote learning context and beyond. 

As the education sector looks to evolve the use of technology in the face of the ongoing pandemic and gradual return to in-person schooling, it can learn from another industry at the very heart of the pandemic: healthcare. 

Not only are education and healthcare two industries experiencing rapid, technology-driven change as a result of the pandemic, but they also share essential characteristics: a focus on human outcomes (students and patients), a foundation of relationships (between students and teachers, and patients and healthcare providers), and a complex system of stakeholders (from administrators to service providers to government regulators).

Through our experience working with organizations in both the education and healthcare industries, we’ve surfaced three areas where EdTech companies might take inspiration from healthcare’s use of technology to help accelerate positive outcomes in student equity, student-teacher relationships, and systemic alignment.

Understand students more holistically

Distance learning has surfaced the staggering disparities in each student’s home environment, from quiet spaces to study and parent/guardian support to access to technology and connectivity. While this has highlighted the unique circumstances of each learner in new ways, there are many factors beyond environment alone that determine how students learn. These include VARK learning styles (visual, auditory, reading/writing, and kinesthetic), executive function (how learners cognitively process tasks), social/emotional learning (how students collaborate and relate to each other), and individual histories and experiences. Understanding the unique context of each student can help teachers and administrators recognize roadblocks or opportunities to help learners achieve their best.

Education has typically leveraged technology to streamline specific tasks – whether it’s to deliver or disseminate information, or to conduct formative or summative assessments. Yet there is great opportunity for EdTech companies to help teachers and administrators gain a more holistic understanding of students as human beings, and what support they need to succeed. 

Learning from healthcare

The medical community recognizes that chronic health conditions are often impacted by non-clinical factors known as social determinants of health. This includes everything from zip code and financial stability, to education level and social support, to past experiences in the healthcare system. The healthcare industry is working to identify and utilize this information on patient context in order to provide better care. In Artefact’s work in diabetes care, there is emerging interest from healthcare providers to integrate Patient-Reported Outcomes surveys into diabetes care tools. These surveys help healthcare providers gain more nuanced insights about a patient and more effectively target interventions – which are more often related to connecting patients to the right resources and services rather than increasing an insulin dosage, for example.

Education might similarly use technology to improve understanding of student performance and engagement. A more holistic picture of students that moves beyond the standard scope of assessments could help educators and administrators connect the dots between student performance and behavioral, environmental, or other psychosocial factors. While this can help schools meet immediate student needs like access to technology, the long-term implication is the potential toward a more proactive and expansive approach to supporting students and their learning.

Create space to build relationships

We’ve all experienced disruptions to our relationships as a result of physical distancing due to the pandemic, and telecommunication has introduced unique challenges in maintaining authentic connections. This is even more relevant in the context of education, where quality of interaction between teachers and students (as well as among students) lead to better engagement in the classroom, and subsequently better learning outcomes.

As teachers experience myriad challenges to translate in-person classroom activities over teleconferencing or e-mail, we are recognizing that the role of technology is to augment, not replace, critical interactions and relationships in education. Beyond simply translating in-person interactions to virtual ones, technology can help create additional touch points to support learners of different types, for example, by leveraging both synchronous and asynchronous modes of communication, interaction, and instruction. Employing a combination of these approaches can help educators amplify the relational aspects of teaching to achieve better student outcomes.

Learning from healthcare

Adoption of telehealth services has seen steady growth in the last few years and especially during the pandemic. Beyond improved access to care, telehealth can improve patient outcomes in areas like chronic condition management and mental health. Instead of having to schedule an appointment weeks ahead only to get a limited window of time, telehealth introduces new flexibility that allows patients to reach their providers through different modalities based on their situation and preference. Synchronous solutions like audio/video sessions can support real-time care and consultations much like in-person appointments but without the need to factor in time for intake and administrative work, while asynchronous solutions using AI chat bots for triage and instant messaging for patient-provider communication can facilitate non-emergent and ongoing care outside of the limitations of what could be accomplished during a traditional appointment. Telehealth subsequently gives patients more agency to manage their own health by broadening their choices and affords providers the ability to attend to patient needs without having to be in the same space at the same time.

As educators continue to innovate strategies to engage learners in front of a screen or through increasingly flipped and blended learning environments, teachers can use synchronous and asynchronous technologies in concert to reach and empower different kinds of learners more effectively. Moreover, leveraging technology to take some of the rote tasks of teaching off an educator’s plate so that they can focus on higher-order relational outcomes, creates new opportunities for educators and learners to connect and interact both within and outside of the “classroom” – the boundaries of which are surely changing as a result of the pandemic.  

Bridge systems by reducing fragmentation

The piecemeal adoption of technology over time has created a fragmentation problem in education. This has further accelerated during the pandemic, as remote learning forces classrooms, schools, and the education system at large to digitize at an unprecedented pace. Products designed to address specific needs for different stakeholders – learners, educators, administrators, or parents – introduce silos of information that lead to inefficiencies and redundancies. 

It’s not uncommon to see teachers relying on one tool to access curriculum and class materials, another to distribute said materials, and yet another to capture assessment and student information. In this process, teachers themselves become the bridge across the system: manually organizing, transferring, and entering information to ensure that information is propagated across platforms. There is opportunity to create alignment and reduce teacher burdens with “agnostic technology.” This means creating a unified standard or architecture to ensure digital products are interoperable – in other words, able to “speak” with each other. 

Learning from healthcare

The healthcare industry has adopted Fast Healthcare Interoperability Resources (FHIR) – an electronic health records data standard – that has unlocked innovation across the industry. For example, the SMART apps platform built on FHIR allows medical apps to run across different healthcare IT systems and communicate with one another more seamlessly. The consumer-facing Apple Health app is also built on FHIR standards, and can synchronize with various health IT systems, giving patients more access to electronic health records and more agency in managing their own health. Interoperability improves efficiency by allowing data to be shared more easily across supporting systems and between different stakeholders. Reducing fragmentation also provides a more comprehensive view of the system and insights at different altitudes, enabling the industry to tackle more complex challenges.

In EdTech, an interoperable system might enable more coordination among educators, parents, and administrators in the same way digital health solutions help clinicians, home care aides, and visiting nurses provide more coordinated care. Interoperability standards could ease the burden on teachers and administrators, help them surface better insights across data sets, and more effectively allocate resources.

Inspiration and innovation

While the accelerated adoption of technology in education has surfaced many challenges, it also presents opportunities for EdTech to help education evolve during and after the pandemic. By looking to the use of technology in industries like healthcare, EdTech can help propel and improve student equity, student-teacher engagement, and systemic alignment in education – all central to helping every student achieve their best.

As part of SxSW EDU Online 2021, we sat down with Elyse Eidman-Aadahl, Executive Director of the National Writing Project (NWP), and Lukas Wenrick, Assistant Director of the Learning Enterprise at Arizona State University, to discuss inclusion in EdTech.

Discover the “ABC”s of EdTech inclusivity – Align, Build, and Contextualize – as we share an approach to developing inclusive, flexible, and human learning pathways and programs at any organization.

We explore strategies and lessons learned creating curriculum, programs, and delivery models for greater access, equity, and inclusion, and identify ways your organization can develop tech-enabled learning experiences that serve every student’s unique needs.

You need a design system. Yes, you. 

As a busy product owner working at a start-up or overseeing an established portfolio of solutions, we know the last thing on your mind might be putting precious time and resources toward another internal tool. 

Yet a design system is not only the single most effective tool to improve the efficiency of how you create, maintain, and innovate experiences, but you don’t need significant in-house design expertise to get started, either. Design systems have proven value for every organization, from start-up to enterprise. 

Having developed and evolved design systems for clients large and small across the tech, finance, and healthcare industries, we at Artefact have seen three consistent benefits that even a basic design system provides: saving time and money, delivering better product experiences and outcomes, and aligning stakeholders on a strategic long-term vision. 

Let’s dig into these three reasons design systems are important to your business and examples of how we’ve help clients leverage them for success.

What’s a design system anyway?

First, let’s take a moment to define what the heck a design system is. A design system is a set of strategic standards and documentation that accompany a collection of reusable UI and visual design assets that can be assembled together to build any number of applications. It is a living system unique to your organization that evolves and adapts alongside your product and business. 

To understand design systems, it’s often just as useful to define what they are not: Design systems are not style guides, they are not plug-and-play UI repositories, and they do not have to be crafted by seasoned in-house design teams. In fact, an external perspective can be a real asset to solving challenging, systemic design problems in unexpected ways by providing new knowledge, a more holistic strategic viewpoint, and an unbiased perspective to your organization.

1. Design systems save serious time and money

In the fast-paced world of digital products and experiences, collaborating on projects or onboarding team members is often chaotic – especially in a remote context. Whether you’re relying on a cloud content management system, a team Sketch symbol library, or a shared Figma file, lacking transparency or a common design language can lead to one-off solutions, inconsistency, and rework that drags out a project timeline – and budget. 

A design system helps your team design better at scale by unifying your brand across all products and platforms, alleviating communication and collaboration challenges, ensuring a smoother design-to-development handoff, and speeding up production to save you time and money.

Case Study: Canadian bank Tangerine partnered with us to create their Forward Banking digital brand, mobile app, and suite of digital banking features. While Tangerine had an established corporate brand, they were just building up their design capacity. We knew that Tangerine planned to create many new digital products in the years to come, and a design system would be essential to scaling efficiently. As an external agency, we brought the necessary skills and insight to help them organize around a cohesive design system and create guidelines and documentation for new feature and product implementation that would support the easy reuse of design components and logic as they continued to build their design practice. This set up the Tangerine team to more efficiently collaborate and scale in the future. 

2. Design systems deliver better product experiences and outcomes

As human-centered designers, our central focus is the experience of the people we design for. A design system helps establish UX deliverables that are rooted in real-world scenarios and tell a story about the people who will use the products we design. By balancing ideas with specific UI, a design system helps your organization create better products and experiences and informs stronger strategy for future projects. We consistently see the power of integrating design systems into UX projects that may not have explicitly outlined it as a deliverable. 

Case Study: We partnered with a software start-up to help identify product focus and improve the experience of their photo, video, and document storage and management tool. With an evolving new product and small but loyal user base, they needed to establish a product architecture that would allow them to add features and build on their product more seamlessly. We worked together to help them develop holistic design system primitives (typography, hierarchy, colors for wayfinding, etc.) and a UI component library that surfaced important questions across their product offerings and business, such as: How can UX improve product learnability as it evolves and expands? How will this selection pattern support globalization efforts? Should we create alternative data color palettes for accessibility? As an external voice, we brought a more holistic lens to developing a design system that helped the client gain focus and plan for the future of their product more strategically.

A design system helps balance the human (scenario-based views) with the technical (a library of components), in order to solve UX problems more proactively and systemically. It maximizes consistency from project to project and across new teams, helps you incorporate best practices around key design factors like accessibility, and can surface opportunities to create more extensible, accessible, and future-proof products and experiences.

3. Design systems align stakeholders on a strategic long-term vision

Design systems empower clients with little design background – or stakeholders outside of the design discipline – with the tools to talk about their product or brand. We’ve seen how design systems can be a powerful socialization piece for stakeholder alignment at both a product team and executive level, helping ensure consistency, reduce friction, increase speed to market, and reduce product risk. 

Case Study: We collaborated with a large, cutting-edge healthcare organization to develop several patient- and provider-facing digital platforms. Despite having a sophisticated portfolio of digital products and a large design team, they often faced pushback from stakeholders in marketing, brand, and industrial design departments, who each had their own product vision. A leader in their field, our client also had ambitious, long-term innovation plans for emerging technologies and multi-modal experiences that would require close stakeholder alignment for success. 

We helped the client develop a vision for a universal design system that serves as a common design language for the organization to align on and use to gain buy-in across their future initiatives. The vision was informed by both external trends and factors that would influence their product development in the coming years (such as multi-modal systems that account for multiple senses in order to better meet the needs of people with a range of cognitive and physical abilities), as well as perspectives from key internal stakeholders on their product priorities and how a design system would serve the needs of their discipline (for example, whether products should have distinct or unified brand experiences). We then developed a foundational design system for immediate implementation that laid the groundwork for bringing this long-term, universal design system to life.

As an unbiased external agency, we were able to transcend internal politics to create a design system that demonstrates how design decisions will impact products and strategy, and encourages thoughtful discussion on their business implications. In this way, a design system helped the client build a design culture with clear, transparent guidelines that not only simplified communication, but helped stakeholders align on a strategic vision and make better long-term decisions. 

Value today, impact tomorrow

Design systems are for every organization and product. You don’t need a large team dedicated to governing and managing it – just establishing a foundational design system that is manageable for your organization can help you create products faster and at lower cost, with better experiences and outcomes, and that are better aligned toward a strategic organizational vision. That’s the promise of a design system: it provides immediate value, while setting a foundation for strategic impact in the future.

Educators and students are increasingly engaging with digital learning tools and experiences, raising important questions around trust and inclusion in the remote learning context. As designers, educators, and curriculum developers, how might we create digital learning environments and experiences that build trust, empower students, and foster inclusion?

In this webinar, Artefact is joined by Maribel Gonzalez, STEM Integration Transformation Coach at Technology Access Foundation; Mike Deutsch, Director of Educational Research and Development at Kids Code Jeunesse; and Joe Sparano, 1st-5th Grade Technology Teacher at Charles Wright Academy to discuss designing healthier relationships between technology, kids and education; advancing equity in digital learning; and the role of technology in the future of education.

We’ll also explore the thinking behind Artefact’s Most Likely Machine digital learning prototype, the research that informed its design, and takeaways from its use in the classroom. Be sure to sign up for our Impact by Design event series if you’d like to join the next conversation.

Check out the resources shared by our panelists below, and be sure to sign up for our Impact by Design event series to keep the conversation going.

Artefact’s John Rousseau joined The Briefing.Today futures podcast to discuss responsible design, strategic foresight, and the evolution of the design practice. The interview has been edited for clarity.

Mattia Vettorello (The Briefing.Today): Designers create the many products, services, and applications that we interact with in our daily lives. Each new addition to the system means that known and unknown consequences will follow.

Today, I’m joined by John Rousseau to explore responsible design and systems in flux. John is a partner at Artefact and leads teams in strategic foresight and speculative design. Thank you, John for being here with me today, and welcome to the show.

John Rousseau: Thanks so much, happy to be here.

MV: We currently live in a situation where individual responsibility is key to the health of society at large. How do you define responsible design?

JR: Artefact thinks about responsible design in terms of a set of fairly big ideas that pertain to how innovation should happen. There’s responsibility, say, at a societal level in terms of just doing the right thing, broadly put. In terms of design specifically, it begins with being inclusive of multiple stakeholders. Traditionally, design was primarily concerned with the user, and I would say that it’s still largely concerned with the user. But when you focus just on the user, you miss a lot of other stakeholders in the system. You miss people who are impacted by the things that you make, you miss the broader societal impact, and you miss the planetary impact.

The first aspect of responsibility is really just being stakeholder centric. Beyond that, it’s thinking about all of the ways in which stakeholders are impacted over time. So thinking about things in terms of complex systems and root causes, how we might use design to shape preferable futures, and of course being cognizant of the impact we make, both now and in that long-term future.

MV: What I’m hearing is that we need to build in an extra layer when we design, looking not just to design for a few months or years from now, but introduce a future layer. That’s where the responsibility comes in. Understanding what the consequences could be.

In practicing responsible design, is the designer responsible for what she or he designs? Or is responsible design designing something that lets users be responsible for their own actions?

JR: Traditionally, designers haven’t had a lot of responsibility – or taken it – because they mostly work on behalf of others who commissioned them to do something. The designer is merely a cog between an organization or corporation that wants to accomplish something and an end user of that thing.

What needs to shift is both designers feeling like they actually do have some responsibility for the outcomes they’re creating, but also recognizing that that responsibility exists in an ecosystem of others. It exists in partnership with those that are commissioning, responsible for funding, or benefiting from the work, as well as those on the other end who are consuming and using it.

If we took something like social media as a product, we could say “Nobody is forcing anyone to use social media, so it’s a user problem.” We could also say, “A lot of aspects of social media are designed to be addictive on purpose, so that’s a designer problem.” Or we could say, “The business model of social media is corrupt because it’s based on monetizing attention and that’s a business model problem.” All of these things are different layers of the same problem, which is to say that the design itself can’t be responsible unless all of those components in the system are thought about in a responsible way.

MV: I really like when you say all these aspects should be seen and designed through a responsible lens. Human-centered design is itself limited by the human. It gives centricity to the human, when we need to look at things from a complex, systemic perspective. What’s your opinion on moving the focus from just human-centricity, which is quite static, to enlarge it to a systems perspective? We can call it system-centric design or ecological, bio-centric design.

JR: I really like that framing, but I think that we’re probably a long way away from it. In large part because of the fact that designers still exist in this intermediary space between corporation/entity and user.

In the future, moving toward a more ecosystem view of how design functions will be required. That will by necessity mean that we have to reinvent the processes of design, the concerns of design, and the business models of design. A lot has to change in order to work that way and think that way. We would need to think of design as a continuous activity that is continuously adapted to an external environment. That means that we have to get better at looking forward in terms of how we anticipate the external environment changing; it means that we need to get better at anticipating unintended consequences, recognizing them when they exist, and then adapting or pivoting; and it means that we need to get better at adopting a more adaptive set of behaviors, in general.

If there’s reason to be optimistic about that, it’s in part due to the fact that design has become an internal competency within many organizations. In the old model, where design was simply external, the corporation hired someone to design a thing and the nature of the relationship created a condition where the design was done and simply handed off and shipped. That mindset still exists even though design is integral to many businesses and governments today. What can change and needs to change is this sense of “done-ness.” Design needs to be engaged consistently in a pattern of prototyping, measuring, evaluating, redoing, envisioning, etc. It needs to be a more holistic and iterative process than it is today.

MV: What you’re saying is that design should be really integrated at the C-level. Strategy should go hand in hand with design. In that way, design can be adaptable or at the least the product or solution can adapt to change.

JR: There’s been a trend in design toward these kind of C-level roles like Chief Design Officer, and that’s a positive trend except to the extent that those roles reinforce existing power structures in hierarchies. If design remains the execution part of the enterprise, design will continue to have the same sets of problems that we’ve been talking about. The conception of design, in addition to the representation of it, needs to change. Those two things probably happen in concert – one can’t happen without the other. Design needs to become a more shared activity across enterprises and organizations in order to evolve into a more agile, ecosystem-centric, forward-looking set of activities.

MV: How can we democratize design across and organization and across people, rather than just using it to execute something? It’s more of a way of thinking, observing, coming up with ideas, and connecting them. System-centric or ecology-centric design means complexity and that’s not easy to talk or think about.

JR: I have a hunch that even when we use terms like “design” we’re not talking about the same thing. A big, broad term like that means a lot of different things to a lot of different people, in the same way that “strategy” means very different things depending on who you’re talking to.

I don’t know if it’s necessarily true to say that design shouldn’t be about execution or craft, because we still need to execute things and make things aesthetically beautiful and functional – all of the traditional concerns of design. Rather than asking, “does design need to be democratized?” perhaps there needs to be a new discipline that exists in parallel. A discipline that’s still design but perhaps more hybrid. It needs to borrow from economics and strategy, it needs to have a lens on the business model as well as the customer. It needs to have a lens on the future. It’s a different set of competencies than aren’t readily represented at most organizations today. Design itself needs to broaden its set of concern and perhaps some new adjacent discipline should emerge.

MV: What should we call that discipline?

JR: There are people working on that right now. There’s a program at Carnegie Mellon University right now called Transition Design which is about large-scale systemic change. There is the responsible design work that we are doing at Artefact, and lots of different people have adopted that vernacular.

MV: At Artefact, designers are taking a broader, systemic look at challenges and implementing solutions to drive change and innovation. As you said, design speaks to people in different ways and strategy speaks to people in different ways. How do you encourage companies to take up responsible design and develop solutions to challenges within their industry?

JR: The most important thing is to recognize is that it’s accessible. If I heard what I just said about needing a new hybrid discipline that exists on a completely different mental model, it sounds very intimidating.

Responsible design exists on a continuum, so even if you’re a designer who is primarily working in execution – say designing products for market – there are all kinds of ways you can bring a responsible perspective to what it is you do. It may be just by shifting your mindset a bit and thinking beyond the user. Who are the other stakeholders in the system? Have I thought about them? Have I thought about the impact of the product I’m creating? Do I have any agency over those impacts in terms of what I’m doing?

This movement toward responsibility will have to happen both in a top-down and bottom-up way. In the top-down way, it’s senior people recognizing the need to make things more responsibly and changing entire processes and organizations in line with those goals. For individual designers who may not have that same degree of agency, there’s still a lot that one can do. I think the trick is to find the small ways to move toward responsibility and actually seek it out, as opposed to waiting for permission to bring it into your work. I see this happening already in many different places.

MV: It’s always better to ask for forgiveness than for permission.

JR: That’s a rule to live by in design.

MV: Artefact also practices strategic foresight. The COVID-19 situation has seen uncertainties increase exponentially for everyone, from individual to organization. What is the connection between design and strategic foresight and how do you implement that in your design practice?

JR: Humans have always thought about the future and the professionalization of strategic foresight has been around for at least 50 to 70 years. In terms of its integration with design, Artefact began to move toward it largely because we were looking for ways to be more responsible and to think farther ahead. It was clear that there were a number of instances where the tech industry had not done a good job of anticipating future consequences, and the mental model was, “We’ll build it and see what happens, things more or less work out.” It became clear to us that that was a failed way to think about how the world works.

Strategic foresight provides a pretty ready kit of tools that allow us to think creatively about the future, create more useful images of the future, and use those images in concert with the design practice to interrogate what it is that we should make and perhaps what it is we shouldn’t. By integrating foresight practices – whether it’s scenario-building or envisioning – into the design practice, we’re in a position to become better designers because we adopt a broader view of what is possible as well as a broader view of what should happen. In this way, we can better integrate our values into the futures that we are creating in ways that aren’t as readily accessible if we don’t think long-term.

MV: Sometimes it’s hard for a company – or anyone – to envision what the future could look, feel, and sound like. It’s very hard to put ourselves in the shoes of someone in 2030 or 2050. How do you demonstrate the power and benefit of merging design and foresight?

JR: The idea of designing for the future has been around for quite a while. Thinking back over the last decade of design consulting, a frequently recurring project type is “The future of X.” The future of work, the future of mobility, etc.

The traditional design firm would think ahead to what was technologically possible, try to envision future needs, and essentially create speculative representations of future products that were intended to inspire innovation internally: north star products, services, and concept cards for the future. A lot of this, while it was fun and interesting to do, was not always particularly rigorous in terms of developing a sense of the tensions involved in this future. Who are the stakeholders? What’s happening more broadly?

What we’ve been trying to do is add rigor to this process. As our clients have become more sophisticated in recognizing the existence and the value of foresight, we have been starting to get requests to do these “Future of X” projects in slightly different ways: to either take a broader lens, or explicitly create scenarios, or otherwise integrate aspects of longer-term futures thinking in a more rigorous way, with the innovation charter that we’re also often tasked with. That’s what’s different about doing this at a design firm as opposed to a foresight consultancy, because our job doesn’t really end with, say, the image of the future. Our job ends when we have a strategy and set of ideas that are meant to live within that future.

The secret superpower of design is the ability to make something tangible and to realize it in a way that isn’t just description. If I were to point to one weakness in the traditional foresight process, it might be that it relies on narrative and words, which are great, but not always sufficient. A lot of the speculative design practice is critical and not necessarily directed toward creating a better future. We are trying to take the best of all of those worlds and put them together in a way that creates new kinds of value. How do we think more creatively about the future in a structured, rigorous way? How do we blend that with innovation programs in such a way that we can think more creatively and orthogonally about what is possible and what we might make? And how do we turn that into something tangible, that hopefully is more useful to the organization because it’s grounded in a broader set of ideas than what we perhaps would have done in the past?

MV: That’s fascinating. I like your proposition of merging the two disciplines, where we don’t just speak to the narrative, but we act on those words and give a physical form to it, rather than leaving companies with utopian and dystopian futures but nowhere to take those futures.

JR: Exactly. The way we think of barriers or boundaries between disciplines today – the reason we have a separate discipline called foresight and a separate discipline called design and a bunch of sub-disciplines within that – is largely the result of the industrial revolution and the effect on the economy of dividing up knowledge and human labor into discrete categories. It’s worth noting that it hasn’t always been that way.

Many of the biggest breakthroughs in human history have come about as a result of hybridity – people who are combining different streams of knowledge together in novel ways. We shouldn’t be afraid of that. As designers, for example, we shouldn’t be afraid of being amateur futurists, and futurists shouldn’t be afraid of being an amateur designer. It’s really about looking more broadly at what is possible and choosing the methods and assembling the right collaborators that will achieve a novel result. There’s no reason to continue doing things the way we’ve always done them simply because that’s the way we’ve always done them.

MV: Exactly. We need responsible design in order to adapt to changing circumstances and systems in constant flux, but we need to adapt in an active way. By building stronger, multidisciplinary teams, we can design more resilient, responsible, sustainable solutions. Thank you so much, John.