The scientific community has learned how to respond to urgent mass-health matters at ‘pandemic speed’ by ditching linear thinking.

If you begin researching practical applications for systems thinking, you’ll quickly notice how much adoption has happened in the healthcare and medicine world.

The scientific method can be accelerated by thinking non-linearly, practicing instead a layered systemic approach. For many, the mindset shift is harder than the practice, because we’re accustomed to almost everything in our lives represented by and related to linear thinking methods. Time is a line, and there are points along that line, etc. …


Raja Rajamannar, global chief marketing officer at Mastercard, spent time two years ago creating a risk management arm of marketing. The investment paid off big time when Covid-19 hit.

Camila Cabello performed through Mastercard’s social channels as part of ‘Priceless’

The “Priceless” tagline and lifestyle campaign has been closely associated with IRL experiences, but Mastercard was able to quickly pivot to “Priceless at Home” thanks to some brilliant brand research done a couple of years ago.

“We spent formally a lot of time figuring out what the purpose of the company would be, how would it manifest into the brand, the brand positioning, the brand values, the brand imagery. All this stuff, we had done quite some time back.”

Read more of Campaign Live’s conversation with Rajamannar here. Listen to Cabello’s digital performance here.


The disproportionate impact the pandemic has upon our most vulnerable socio-economic families — and the mass graves waiting for them — is reason enough to stop pretending that we can’t talk about death.

Hart Island, NY, captured by drone in April 2020
Hart Island, NY, captured by drone in April 2020
Hart Island, NY, captured by an Associated Press drone in April 2020

Hart Island has been used as a potter’s field for the homeless, solitary, and sad for over a century and a half, but in April, a drone took photos of new trenches being dug. A crew lowered dozens of simple wood coffins into the hole, arranging boxes like Tetris pieces in horizontal and vertical stacks. The New York Times wrote about the island’s history and what is…


Despite 500+ advertisers boycotting Facebook, the concessions they’ve made to Stop Hate for Profit are weak — indicative of their dangerous, old-fashioned, and reluctant response change.

Aren’t we all sick of photos of Zuck and Sanders and their smug faces?

Hopefully the boycott of advertisers on Facebook is a lasting trend, not a temporary statement. For now, everyone agrees that it’s an important but probably negligible financial hit for the platform.

A big part of that reality is simply because of the massive profits at play (about $70 billion annually) and how difficult it is to attack a significant portion of that total. …


We’ve been talking about the experience economy for a long time, but we’ve taken the premise for granted.

In 1970, futurists Alvin and Heidi Toffler published Future Shock, positing that an economy is being created geared to the provision of psychic gratification, that a process of “psychologization” finds place and humans will strive for a better “quality of life”.

The profit margin for a cup of coffee is about 91%

Manufacturers of goods will add a “psychic load” to basic products, and this psychic component of services will expand and we will witness the raise of experience industries whose sole output consists of pre-programmed experiences, including simulated environments that offer customers a taste of adventure, danger, or other pleasure.

In 1996, Rolf Jensen of the Copenhagen Institute for Futures…


If there’s an upside to COVID-19’s impact on the economy, it’s the crash course in accelerated agility.

Photo by Aleks Marinkovic

In my earlier piece about post-Covid experience design, I discussed brand systems and customer experience, explaining that efficacy relies on strategy that accurately reflects a brand’s culture and values.

That’s a fancy way of saying that if you weren’t an authentic brand before, you can’t fake it now.

It doesn’t matter how fast you churn out ‘We’re in This Together’ content and hybrid BLM/Pride avatars. The many embarrassing brand efforts in recent months demonstrate why marketers have been calling for authenticity in the first place. …


Crappy marketing is everyone’s problem now.

I’m writing a couple of posts about brand and customer experience in the new world. This is the first, and it’s about a foundation for resilience and how some companies are demonstrating best-in-class beyond marketing. I’ll link to everything as it publishes. -PM

As individuals, we have huge piles of personal COVID-19 dread to deal with, and it feels almost rude to create another Medium post about marketing and customer experience, but we’ve never been more at the mercy of how well these companies adapt and perform. It’s everyone’s business now.

The way brands are behaving now is an early…


There are just two ways to interact with a prepared piano: on purpose, or the other way. John Cage — the artist typically credited with inventing the instrument — was adventurous and controversially playful when it came to the presentation of any art. For him, the intentional construction of the instrument and its influence on the player’s interactions was analogous to living. As a player, one must willingly enter into the agreement made long before between the composer and the instrument, and agree: something is wrong here, but it’s going to be ok.

This agreement is the sun around which…


Illustration by Manuja Waldia

To advance from thinking machines to feeling machines, designers must understand verbal behavior, embrace the machine, and consider community

By now, most designers have either interacted with a chatbot or been asked to create one for a client. We obsess over the details once our bot has come into being. More than anything, we emphasize to ourselves — and to our clients — how hard we work to create a human-like experience. More often than not, we begin anthropomorphizing it after we’ve named the thing and started writing its script.

Simple bots with only a couple of tasks in…

Paige Maguire

I use design to help brands deliver great customer experiences and measurable business results. A lightning bolt at the intersection of curiosity and creation.

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