Alistair Lloyd

#emoji #Monopoly© ? ? ?


The Desk


Last year we renovated our home office. This had been a very dark/mission brown environment. A recent trip to Latvia and Denmark inspired us to rebuild it as a white/light timber finish. 

The challenge we had was in find a desk to fit the space we’d designed. With Pinterest as a “I’m-not-sure-what-I-want-but-I’ll-know-when-I-see-it” inspiration, we found a long, trestle-supported table that looked perfect. The challenge was that no local retailers had such a piece. 

Having trawled IKEA several times, I figured that the path to take was to make one from ‘hacked’ pieces. We documented the result through the popular Ikea-Hackers website

The finished desk with equipment wired up

The finished desk and equipment and stationery cabinet (both reused IKEA bedroom furniture)

It fits! About 5mm either side with power outlets and cable conduit hidden underneath.

Trimmed down IKEA drawers repurposed as a combination of desk support and scanner storage

Trimming the sides of the drawers

Three coats of clear acrylic stain to seal and protect

Additional dowel joins were strengthened with hidden steel plays underneath

Cut had to be accurate and straight. Made a template guide to run the saw along.

Love; viscous


Wees and poos and spits and spews,
Drool and snot and mucus too.

Slobber, scabs and wax from ears,
Gluey eyes with weepy tears.

How can a child you love so dear,
Be covered in such sticky smears?

— AL, June 2017

The Gamification Revelation

Why are you sitting there working when you should be playing games?

Image source: kurtxio

Another article of mine from 2014 that enjoyed some coverage and feedback. Gamification has eased off on the hype curve however the concepts of gaming and the interplay with ‘real world’ activities and problem solving continues.

Link to the original article on CIO of the Future, and a PDF copy is also attached.

The Design of Everyday Things



Someone has posted up the complete text (PDF) of my all-time favourite design book, “The Design of Everyday Things” by Donald A. Norman.

Read it, and you’ll never look at doors the same way again.


The #fidgetspinner of Earthly Delights


…with apologies to Hieronymus Bosch.

Design anthropology and the IT Leader


Another article in the series I wrote for CIO of the Future a few years back. This article enjoyed wide interest as it tapped into a thread that continues today – what is the role of creativity in enterprise systems design, and what is our role, as leaders, to engender and support this?


Link:  Design Anthropology and the IT Leader



On cognitive diversity


I’ve been a big fan of diverse teams for a number of years, and have been privileged to develop and lead a number of them.

My Masters studies cured me of perfectionism, and taught me a great deal about collaborating with people of different cognitive and emotional styles. This HBR article by Alison Reynolds and David Lewis summarises it well. I look forward to their broader research.

Key take-outs for me:

  • Cognitive diversity is less visible, yet there are cultural barriers which lead to functional bias.
  • “When you face a new, uncertain, complex situation, and everyone agrees on what to do, find someone who
    disagrees and cherish them.”

PDF: CognitivelyDiverseTeams

You know nothing, John Snow


We were discussing the design and communication of a particularly complex strategic business case today. One of my team members quipped: “So – do you also know how to ‘Sell Snow to the Eskimos…?'”.


And I said, actually…yes.

Gruen Pitch Competition – “Sell Snow to the Eskimos” (ABC, 2010)