Design and Measurement as Engineering Concepts for Curating Life
Design and measurement are concepts that are woven into the fabric of engineering, and applying these concepts outside of work can also lead to great benefits when it comes to creating the life we want.
In a recent Inside Engineering speaker series at Goldman Sachs, Tomer Sharon, head of User Research & Metrics, and Loki Muthu, vice president and creative director in Engineering, shared the importance of applying these concepts when designing our life projects and the consequential necessity of measuring these projects to ensure effectiveness. They highlighted the universality of the basic principles of design and measurement and how it can enable engineers to make things possible at work and beyond.
Loki taps into his own skills and experiences as a creative designer to take deliberate steps when constructing an optimal and productive life. According to Loki, the process of design used by most professionals involves four key steps: deconstruction, perspective, reconstruction, and expression. For any goal or life project we wish to pursue, we can start by deconstructing the goal (or project), shift perspectives to expand the limit beyond boundaries, reconstruct the project based on new goals and different points of view, and express the target goals repeatedly for emphasis and to make it a reality. Translating the application of these design concepts into a life philosophy gives individuals the tools to build a life they aspire to live – one that is designed to ensure happiness and success. He challenged the audience to be as innovative in their lives as they are with their work. For Loki, “Innovation happens at the edges,” he says. If we apply the same process that designers use to create a new project, we can also have a blueprint for the life balance we seek.
However, designing and building an ideal life is only one aspect of the process. As with any plan a designer builds, tracking and analyzing metrics is essential to implementing the plan. Tomer used the “HEART” method to explain how he measures success and effectiveness beyond work to his everyday life. Focusing on happiness, engagement, adoption, retention, and task success (HEART), Tomer keeps track of his goals and measures whether or not the life he has designed is providing him with the satisfaction and success he wants. Analyzing these variables and translating them to metrics for effectiveness allows a would-be life designer to reflect on a plan and refine where needed.
The session concluded with three key takeaways our design engineers: set goals, proactively design your life to fulfill the goals, and have the discipline to measure the progress and success of the goals.