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Bachelor of Design Student, Freelance Digital Designer, Musician. I write about design and life. Twitter: @sarahsaccomanno
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Being a student is hard work, no matter where you are in your education. Beyond the pressures from family (and yourself) to succeed at all costs, to the turbulent world around us, somedays it feels like we’re climbing up Mount Everest to get our piece of paper.

As the world becomes more populated, fields become more saturated and jobs become harder than ever to come by, students are pressured at younger and younger ages to succeed academically. Our futures are forecasted not just from our futures, but from our parents’ trajectory in their education and their career. …


Photo by Xavi Cabrera on Unsplash

This company needs no formal introduction. LEGO’s colourful and endlessly entertaining bricks have been loved by many children of multiple generations since the 1950s — myself included. My brother and I spent hours playing with our “Lego Chest” that was filled to the brim with bricks, wheels, characters and even pieces mixed in from other premade sets. LEGO curated and inspired a deeper level of creativity for us and it was so versatile that even our parents could join in.

With that being said, LEGO isn’t all smooth sailing as a company and went through their fair share of trials…


How co-creating virtually with my peers fosters connection during a pandemic

Photo by Leon on Unsplash

I love doing workshops. Both last semester and this semester in my degree program, I found myself really looking forward to working with my peers to ideate together. It makes the process less isolating and more holistic.

The best part of all is that it brings a sense of normalcy to my education that I haven’t been able to experience for almost a year now.

This time around I decided to make my co-creation workshop around Cultural Probes and then follow up with an empathy session.

The project is surrounding information during COVID-19 using Ontario’s digital systems currently in place.


How Canada’s Charity Help Line Workers are barely hanging on, and how we can use Service Design to improve their experience

Content Warning: The following article discusses deteriorating Mental Health issues in adults as well as children.

Photo by Gaelle Marcel on Unsplash

Admittedly, this is tough for me to write. Between losing a childhood friend to a mental health condition, to working in a chronic pain clinic where we were often the adult version of Kid’s Help Phone. Thank you to my Professor Yvonne Shek who inspired and encouraged me to share this story.

1–800–668–6868

I remember they made us memorize that in grade two or three? I had a sticker with the phone number on it attached to my landline phone in my bedroom. I’ve never…


How Joe Gebbia and AirBnb designed a new form of trust.

Photo by Ellen Auer on Unsplash

Kidnapped in a Miata and offered a stranger a night on an air mattress?

Seems odd, but this is the origin story of the infamous service design concept: Airbnb. Many people see it on the superficial level- an app and website used to book cheap accommodations. However, it’s more than just its meticulously designed digital components. It’s more than the red and white colour scheme and push notifications. Joe Gebbia, co-founder of Airbnb, stumbled upon a new sliver of the service industry after locking his bedroom door at night paralyzed by the fear of what he had just done. Fast forward to the year 2014, and Airbnb was offering lodging in 35,000 cities (that’s…


How first, second and third-order effects are crucial in service design

A photo of Macquarie Island from afar
A photo of Macquarie Island from afar
Source: https://www.abc.net.au/news/2018-08-06/macquarie-island-marks-station-milestone/10075720

Macquarie Island, as described in Upstream: The Quest to Solve Problems Before They Happen by Dan Heath, is a small island (owned by the state of Tasmania) halfway between New Zealand and Antarctica. It’s one of the few islands where animals are able to breed in the area, and due to the fact that it’s uninhabited by humans (aside from visiting researchers), has a plethora of beautifully rare species [Heath, 2020] One of those species is the Blue Petrel, which (after looking up a photo of the bird) is quite beautiful to see in full flight and wingspan. …


How Disney has effectively mastered the art of ecosystem-based service design.

Big castle in Disney World at dusk with a crescent moon behind
Big castle in Disney World at dusk with a crescent moon behind
Photo by Benjamin Suter on Unsplash

Disney is probably one of the most well-oiled service machines on the planet. Having just recently been there (pre-COVID), it’s almost unbelievable until you witness it with your own eyes. Many companies try to emulate the ‘Disney effect’, but no matter how hard they try they just can’t match the attention to detail and experience that Disney is able to provide its patrons and cast members. …


March 28th, 2020

Photo by Gustav Gullstrand on Unsplash

Editors Note: I left this sitting in my drafts for months before I decided to post it. The reason I decided to go ahead four months later is because I believe it’s important we document these feelings- this moment in time where everything went eerily still. Perhaps we can look back on it with more evolved eyes and try to relive these moments.

Nobody expects things like this to happen to society, and when it does it’s usually in a movie. It’s as if someone has pressed pause on an old VHS tape and the screen ripples, still trying to…


From pattern recognition to passive interaction. How design has changed through Smart Tech and Digital Automation

Photo by Tyler Lastovich on Unsplash

The Routine

Routines are a part of how humans interact with the world and can be described as a regular implementation of a sequence of actions. They are a personal curation of consistent actions over a long period of time.

“The coherence of an ordered life also lays the groundwork for pursuit of larger goals — and thus the equally important aspects of purpose and significance.” Matthew Hutson

Research shows that routines allow us to find meaning in life, despite the fact that the actions…


Disclaimer: In this article, there are various brands, and resources mentioned. These recommendations are NOT SPONSORED and are tools that I have personally spent my own money and time on.

One: Make a list of everything you’ve accomplished from 2010–2019

Photo by Cathryn Lavery on Unsplash

I think that it’s important you do this task first. We are so used to living in a world of “I wish”, harsh criticism and desire for more. Wanting to be more is not a bad thing, but it’s important we look back on the things we already have accomplished to keep our balance and our confidence in check. …

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