Framework

Hopeful Design is a design framework that creates hope by practicing in an ecosystem, honoring that community with its solutions, and sharing in the responsibility of its outcomes.

Principles

Be curious.

Learn your surroundings from within an ecosystem.


Be compassionate.

Form solutions from experiential learning.


Be humble.

Share responsibility no matter the outcome.

Practices

01.

Talk about hope.

There are topics that we neglect because we feel like they should be assumed. Hope is the foundation, so it’s well worth mentioning. It’s OK to tell those you’re serving that hope is your goal. Speak it into existence.


02.

Embrace real people.

Sure, people are messy. They are often hard to understand and even harder to love, but they are who we serve. Whether our design is directly or indirectly serving our audience, we know our design will impact real people. Finding community with others is risky, but its rewards allow us to realize a more complete design vision.


03.

Embody compassion.

Though you may serve in the role of designer, you are also someone else’s user. Allow this to foster empathy that can evolve into active compassion. Design the products you would want to use. Inhabit the lives of others through genuine relationships and design from this new understanding.


04.

Ask better questions.

One of the most human things we can do is build community through conversation. Dig for intimate insight through the questions you ask. Don’t absently inquire but rather actively listen to people and surroundings, allowing your questions to form organically.


05.

Build trust slowly.

Spend time evaluating what authentic transparency could look like for your clients and recommend it with kindness. Model this practice by letting clients in on your processes, allowing them to see your intent from the frontlines. This will prove fertile ground for trust to grow.


06.

Slow down.

Slow down and note how certain designs make you feel, physiologically and mentally. Especially make note of times when interactions cause anxiety. By experiencing these realities yourself, you can gain perspective on the pitfalls you may inherently create through your work.


07.

Iterate & repeat.

Exercise humility. Continually come back to the reality that you may not get it right the first time. Rather than allowing this truth to defeat you, use it to empower your design.


08.

Share responsibility.

Don’t shy away from responsibility. It’s only in this shared experience that meaningful trust will form between you, your clients, and your users. It’s a commitment to refinement rather than arrogance.