Jon Daiello holding a copy of “The Right Kind of Crazy” by Adam Steltzner

Have you ever wondered how to make decisions that lead to innovation? Or, when to push yourself to link outside the box? I wanted to share three key takeaways from Adam Steltzner’s book “The Right Kind of Crazy”. The three lessons will peel back the curtain on how NASA’s JPL team followed a process that lead to radical innovation on the landing system for the wildly successful Mars Curiosity Rover.

Video of Jon Daiello talking about the 3 key takeaways from Steltzner’s book.

Curiosity-Based Decision Making

Curiosity-based decision making vs Fear-based decision making. Fear based decision making can keep us from exploring unique…

👋🏻 Hey Designer!

Have you ever looked around while you’re in the middle of a project and thought, “what’s the point?” Or, have you been discouraged because you feel like you’re never going to reach the possibilities you’ve envisioned? This is what I call the curse of the designer. It can be debilitating and cause you to detach from your work and the people around you. It can disorient you and breed frustration and hostility. It can also plant the seeds of bitterness that can ruin your satisfaction with your job. So, what is this curse and how do we overcome it?

What is the curse?


Are you looking to invigorate and grow your creativity to be more effective and powerful? Creativity is the ability to recognize, manipulate and reshuffle elements to create novel expressions. These five (six actually) books that have been extremely helpful in building my ability to be creative and effective as a designer by showing previously unknown elements and strategies for working creatively. I hope you find these recommendations helpful!

Full disclosure: Each of the links to purchase these books are affiliate links which means if you purchase the book after clicking the link, I’ll get a small kickback. …

How do we choose the ‘right’ design?!
How do we choose the ‘right’ design?!
How to choose the ‘right’ design?!

Have you ever had your design critiqued with words like this: “That’s not the right design” or “This is all wrong!”? Me too. In this article, we’re going to explore ways to view and present our design concepts to help others engage with our work in meaningful, positive ways. You never have to hear the words ‘the wrong design’…ever again.

To start this discussion, I need to give you an apology. The title is a bit of clickbait. I’m sorry. My intent wasn’t to deceive you, but to strike the chord that resonates with designers in every industry around the…

Have you ever gotten overwhelmed by your design work? Have you ever felt lost and wished there was an easy to follow roadmap? Me too. Over the past few years, I’ve been developing a simple four-part recipe for successful design. These are things every designer must do to be successful in their design work. And…I may even say, if you’re not doing all four of these things…you’re not doing design.

Before we dive in, let’s make sure we’re all on the same page about what we mean by “design”. In my previous article, we explored a solid definition of…

We often “‘”design“ without stopping to ask what it actually is.

Has anyone ever asked what you do as a designer…and you struggled to explain it well?

Have you worked with people who don’t seem to understand what you do, and inherently distrust your work?

Do you sometimes feel lost in the weeds of design and lose confidence your abilities as a designer?

Me too. In fact, this is what’s lead me to write this the work behind this article. I’m going to attempt to provide a simple definition of design that will improve anyone’s understanding of and confidence in design, what it is, and how it works

When we say “Design”

First of all…

A stack of design books on a wooden desk
A stack of design books on a wooden desk

As a design leader, it’s critical to understand creativity and design so you can foster it well. I wanted to share a few of my favorite books from 2020 that leveled up my understanding in these areas. They have been a key resource for providing clear ways of discussing and guiding designers towards productive outcomes.

These books are extremely helpful in providing design leaders with solid frameworks to approaching design and creativity. They have given me proven strategies for engaging designers as well as creating a knowledge base that we can all share. …

Products that aren’t usable breed terrible experiences for the people that engage with them. The Nielsen Norman Group has worked to assemble some of the top heuristics that the industry relies on to evaluate the usability of a product. When designers use this tool in their creation of new products and user interfaces, it will challenge and push them to evolve their artifacts well beyond the initial stages of work.

Poster of the 10 Usability Heuristics by Jakob Nielsen
Poster of the 10 Usability Heuristics by Jakob Nielsen
10 Usability Heuristics by Jakob Nielsen. Layout designed by Jon Daiello.

I created this poster to hang on my wall as an aesthetically pleasing reminder of these founding heuristics of good design. Let’s take a quick look at these industry-standard principles…

This article was originally posted at

Photo by Amélie Mourichon on Unsplash

As a design manager, I’ve been looking at the key disciplines of a designer. My goal is to create a clear set of activities that every designer displays that will push them deeper into the designer-verse and promote successful outcomes for everyone. At this point, I’m considering 5 key practices that are expected of designers.

This article was originally posted here.

If you’re not used to working from home, it can be a huge transition. Here are 5 simple tips for making remote working better to help ease your transition to the virtual office space.

1. Turn on your video

You might be tempted to only use your voice during conference calls, but you will miss the depth of the human-to-human communication experience. While we can use words, tone, inflection, volume, and more in our speech, there’s much that’s lost on us when we can’t “see” who we’re talking with. There are loads of non-verbal communication cues that we exhibit.

Jon Daiello

YouTuber and Design Manager at Covenant Eyes. Passionate about leading great design that delights humans and elevates experiences.

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