My name is Justin Kunkel. I believe that everything that human beings do on a daily basis should be studied as a series of macro and micro experiences.
These experiences may be as simple as making a sandwich for lunch or as complicated as enrolling in a graduate program. Each is a process, and each and can be broken down into its component parts, studied and improved to make life better. Improving experiences is my passion, my hobby and my career.
For the last 10 years, I have designed products, services and experiences in a variety of different industries including government, education, healthcare, startup technology, cloud computing, agriculture, commercial equipment and more. At Andculture, I lead the experience design team. While I was there I re-imagined the process of provisioning servers for Engine Yard and designed a digital product from the ground up for Kids Discover and saw a project win a major award at SXSW. A little over two years ago, I decided to focus solely on healthcare and joined my colleague in starting Benjamin & Bond. Since, I have worked in care model design, patient experience, consumerization and more.
Working alongside a Community Health Provider to design a new model for treatment of opioid addiction in primary care.
Designing a research activity that goes beyond the focus group for a new insurance product.
How I Think
Before coming to design, I was a journalist. I can't imagine better training for the work that I do. Journalism taught me how to ask the right questions and how to shut up and observe. It also taught me how to work on deadline, whether that deadline was three months, three weeks, three days or 30 minutes.
I believe that generalists are just as important as specialists in the modern world. I love working with subject matter experts, and I find nothing more rewarding than being able to create change by providing a fresh, outside perspective.
In addition to my consulting work, I write and speak about design and its place in the world. I have lectured at Carnegie Mellon, held workshops for an excelerator affiliated with Penn and my writing has appeared on 99u and Invision. I'm still an active writer, and I've included the piece below because I think it's a good example of how I like to pick apart every aspect of an idea. If you'd like me to write for your publication or speak at your event, just ask—I'll probably say yes.
Revisiting How We Decide What Is Useful
Like all people, designers are prone to nostalgia, guilt and other psychological hang-ups that lead to irrational decisions. These things manifest themselves in our personal lives and in our work. We pack our homes with nonessential objects. We bloat technology products with unnecessary features, processes with too many steps, experiences with superfluous fluff.
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