Design Thinking for Campus Mental Health


tl;dr Design thinking as a strategic framework for campus mental health

A “mental health strategy” is a coherent and coordinated effort to move an organization closer to a place where it can begin to introduce new and stable patterns and opportunities related to mental health. This is about engaging in many intentional maneuvers, positioning and advantageously repositioning an organization so it can get closer to reaching a new state of being, thinking and doing. Along the way, these movements should aim to help increase the organization’s mobility and ability to adapt to change, and weaken and redesign the unhealthy structures that inhibit this progress. This, at least, is my understanding.

In considering what a framework for a campus wide mental health strategy can look like, I have turned to “design thinking” as a way of organizing my own intentions and approach.

And what exactly is design thinking?

Design thinking is a term I’ve given a lot of attention to over the past few years and has become wildly popular in the business, healthcare, and social enterprise space. I had a good discussion about the term more recently with several colleagues as we started working through the IDEO+Acumen course on Human Centered Design. While there is no clear consensus around its definition, there are common threads that emerge when people talk about design thinking as it is applied to generating innovative solutions to complex social issues. To me, there is merit in what “design thinking” can offer to a making and/or problem solving process. While I have no fully formed definition, here are some components that I think bring some level of concreteness to what I refer to when I say “design thinking”:

  • A stance or mindset that supports the development and realization of products, processes and services that impact people and contexts in new ways
  • This stance is centered around the human experience, and how people engage with the larger systems in which interact and are embedded within
  • It is a term that has been distilled from the creative/design industry and re-configured into processes and concepts that can be applied to other industries
  • It intends to produce change, from one state of being, to another
  • It is deemed to be particularly advantageous when navigating issue areas that possess a high level of uncertainty, ambiguity and complexity
  • A more tangible process associated with design thinking is as follows: understanding a ‘problem space’ through empathic methods, ideating various ‘solutions’ and ways to address the issue at hand, prototyping the potential ‘solutions’ in the real world, and evaluating the impacts

Based on this understanding, I see “design thinking” as enabling a campus to develop a response to mental health that is intentional, promotes social change, and deeply rooted in the human (student) experience. As a highly complex, invisible and broad issue that is traditionally addressed by the health sector alone, mental health is well suited for a design driven approach. Distilled into the visual I created above, here is how I see design thinking intersecting with a mental health strategy:

  • UNDERSTAND: “Understanding” can also be referred to as “research/assessment” and necessitates a multi-pronged approach that moves beyond traditional surveys and focus groups by incorporating observation, journey mapping, participatory methods, and storytelling. Empathy and experiential learning lay at the heart of understanding mental health on campus. Capturing a full range of perspectives must take place from multiple vantage points and mediums. This is particularly important when working with a creative audience whose communication channels may be verbal, visual, olfactory, gustatory, and/or auditory. Information captured in this phase can be used to identify critical issues where there is a desire or need for change.
  • IDEATE: While understanding is an ongoing process, there is a point where there is a healthy amount of information that can be used to generate informed ideas that will lead to desired change. Ideas can be wild, practical, broad or specific. Ideas can transform into concepts/frameworks that help make some sense of how they can be executed.
  • MAKE: Some ideas that meet certain criteria around feasibility are then moved into a stage where they are brought to life and tested in real world contexts. Rapid prototyping enables for quick wins or misses, leading to reflection and iterative revisions. In a mental health context, ideas need to prototyped with a heightened level of care and consideration.
  • REFLECT: Reflection, much like understanding, is ongoing. Reflection is necessary for evaluating and learning from the process and outcomes that take place. This is an important part of accountability and responsibility to the greater community, and particularly key in the making process when trying to define and measure impact. An outsiders perspective can also help gain new insights and reflections.

The visual implies a lot of nonlinear movement and overlap within and between the identified ‘phases’. Design thinking here lends itself well to a change making process, and nicely frames the different spaces through which our campus wide Committees will move through in order to offer and implement recommendations that improve mental wellbeing.

While I don’t know that applying design thinking to an issue like mental health will lead to any more innovative or better ‘solutions’ for campus, I think that it does offer a helpful framework for working through this type of ‘wicked‘ issue and supporting innovation by putting people first.


Reframing the Role of the Service Provider: We are All Designers.


In brief: In the post secondary setting, the work of the institution is often framed within the context of customer service and student-centeredness. While these terms are helpful in focusing and re-focusing our efforts on students, we can often lose sight of the fact that a large part of our work and job responsibilities is about serving each other — that is, our very own colleagues and peers. In order to work together and encourage people to see mental health as a part of their everyday job responsibilities, I suggest that we reframe our jobs titles, positioning ourselves as designers, first. As designers, we act as ‘problem’ solvers on campus, approaching issues like mental health with empathy, understanding, critical insight and importantly a systems perspective. This reminds us of the greater contexts in which we work and people we need to work with in order to serve students.

As staff and faculty in the post-secondary setting, who are we serving? 

The automatic answer: We are serving students, of course! The student experience is built around a model of “customer service” and student-centered service development and delivery. This framework positions what we do within the context of service provision. This can be helpful in terms of grounding our roles and responsibilities around services we offer and reminding us that it is the student who is our ‘end user’ and whose interests we need to be mindful of.

The emphasis placed on students and services, however, can be less helpful when we lose sight of our position within the greater service system. There are often multiple departments, groups and individuals that work to create positive experiences for the end user. More often than not though, we design only within the context of our service space. This is further exacerbated with departmental silos, lack of trust, divergent perspectives, and organizational conflict. When the people who are in charge of creating the architecture and systems that will shape the student experience are not working collectively to complement each other’s efforts, it is the students themselves who end up losing out. As providers on campus, it is important to remember that we are serving students in so much that we are serving each other.

Designing a mental health strategy is largely an internal effort that requires buy in and support from all levels of an organization. Recognizing the provider’s role as one that is highly collaborative is a necessary step to ensuring greater flow in the student’s journey as she/he is seeking mental health supports and resources, enhancing complementary offerings and reducing replication. And while working with those internal to the organization seems like an intuitive and necessary practice, we tend to lose any formal association of our roles as being about building relationships with our own colleagues. When we lose sight of our colleagues, communications start to break down and we start to impose our own practices on each another as opposed to with each other.

Our job titles define what we do (and think we ought to do), how we do it, and why. I’ve been thinking about how to conceptualize our titles so that we move closer to an understanding that we all have a shared job to play, institutionally, when it comes to mental health. This brings me to ask, how do we position mental health as being an integral part of everyone’s job? While this can be established more concretely through policy, it is only meaningful when people genuinely consider themselves accountable, are able to contribute to a greater change making process, and feel that it is a part of their mandate.

So, what would happen if we reframe our roles in a bigger way?

An idea –> On campus, let’s say we’re all “designers”…and by designers, I refer to social problem solvers: people who bring compassion, empathy, creativity and understanding to a ‘problem’ situation and frame these situations within the context of the systems from which they emerge. Thus, from a teacher to a janitor to an administrative assistant to a dean, we are all hired designers. Our first and foremost responsibility then is to use a designer’s mindset to address the problems we see around us. This involves recognizing that we have a direct role to play in the design of structures, services, and spaces around us…this also means we are responsible for their re-design in order to meet changing and unmet needs. Even if we have specific and diverse areas of design focus/craft/skill (e.g., administration, teaching, coordination, counselling, etc.) the designer’s lens reminds us that we are playing our part within the greater organization to help us function as a whole — hopefully one that is coordinated, adaptive and healthy — in order to promote student success. As designers, it would be difficult to do our work without appreciating the greater context in which we work and without connecting with our fellow designers in order to affect change, particularly when the issue at hand is complex, ambiguous and systemic. As such, it becomes everyone’s job to improve designs that we recognize as weak and concerning as well as celebrate beautiful, delightful design we’ve created together.

This reframing helps me elevate my understanding of the greater roles we play in an organization. Using the title of designer in no way aims to diminish the talent and skill set of the many design specialities that exist, but rather is meant to suggest that we all possess elements of design thinking and doing that enable us to respond in more adaptive and empathic ways to issues we see within an organization, including mental health. When we are all considered designers of the student experience, we all have something to offer when it comes to creative problem solving on campus. Whether it is demonstrating empathy through a conversation with a student around her experiences with depression or working with student groups to re-design a policy that promotes anti-stigma through institutional practices, there are small and large ways we can demonstrate design in order to improve health.

The Elements of Design Thinking (Version 2.0)

As a follow up to my original post on the Elements of Design Thinking (Version 1.0), I present to you the Elements of Design Thinking Table, Version 2.0.

This second version builds on the feedback from version 1.0, and has been organized differently into families and periods based on my ever-evolving understanding of the concept of Design Thinking. I have had the good fortune of interviewing incredibly intelligent and insightful designers and design thinkers through a research study I am co-leading called Design Thinking Foundations. My learning through this project has prompted me to reorganize the elements the way I have and has brought some more clarity to my own personal definition of design thinking. As my Adobe Illustrator skills have also evolved (for the better, I hope!), I give you a more polished graphic above.

As you can see, there are more elements then last time, but I suspect the list will keep growing and the elements will continue to be reorganized. Compared to the first version, this one has fewer gaps — maybe indicative of some cohesive thinking around my own definition of design thinking?

In any case, I’m still facing the challenge of determining if something is truly an ‘element’, that is, a basic building block of design thinking, rather than a higher level concept that would be constructed from a combination of these elements. Understanding how these elements relate to one another in order to formulate higher level “molecules” is a design challenge in itself. I think it’s worthwhile putting some more thought into this though as it might help visually and conceptually explain the varying approaches and unique interpretations of design thinking that people have. For instance, you’ll probably notice how I have included elements that reflect my public health background such as “Sj: Social Justice”. This is an element I would expect to be very prominent in building a design approach or stance in health promotion, but probably not for someone working in the area of business design, for instance.

In this 2.0 version, I have included definitions below for each of the elemental categories for some additional context:

Mindset: Elements that refer to ideas, constructs, and attitudes with which a person approaches a situation

Meaning: Elements indicating the significance of design

Humanize: Humanizing elements that bring design closer to human nature or human use

Interaction: Social elements denoting the ways things effect or relate to one another

Process: Elements emerging throughout the creative/design process

Understanding: Elements representing mental processes for comprehending information

Included here as well is a “2.0” version of the Design Thinking trading cards that pair with this version of the table. I’ve included a preview below, and the full pdf can be downloaded here: DT Trading Cards 2.0. Currently, they are only one sided but have been resized into full sized playing cards (2.5×3.5 inches).

The next steps for the Table and cards are to more fully put together the definitions of these concepts…and any suggestions in this area are more than welcome! Be prepared for further iterations and more text!

I’m also excited to discuss the periodic table of design thinking further with the Plexus Institute today! Feel free to join in on the conversation by phone at 1PM EST, it should be a lot of fun 🙂 Details are in the link.

Shadow Puppets

What does the creative process look like?

I recently came across this infographic by Virus Comix posted on FastCompany that illustrates the “Magic and Madness of the Creative Process”. I can certainly relate to those winding roads: the doubt, the re-work, the split decisions…and the stress, for better or for worse. This, in combination with some reading from Nigel Cross’s “Design Thinking” the other day, got me thinking about the creative process in a slightly new way…at least visually.

In the book there’s a great quote from Cross’s profile of designer Kenneth Grange, co-founder of Pentagram, wherein Grange describes the role of the designer:

The designer’s job, he says, is ‘to produce the unexpected’. (p.70)

I have heard variants of this job description from other designers and agree with this statement in many ways, granted that the unexpected is addressing a need, helping a situation or circumstance, and delighting its user(s). This unexpectedness, I find, is also present within the design process.

Many designers (Cross included) describe the creative process as ambiguous, unclear, unpredictable and difficult to map out. So much time is spent searching for the “right” problems to address and then creating ways to meaningfully address them. And while one can expect the design process to be extremely foggy — even translucent and almost opaque at times — you grab your tools, methods, knowledge and experience and you begin to feel your way through the process.  You may be unsure of what you’re searching for in the first place, but you do end up reaching your final destination. In essence, you’ve created something through the shadows: It may be unexpected, but it’s probably quite remarkable.

Taking what I’ve said here, the illustration above is my attempt to visualize the design process. Through this interpretation, I think that I have inadvertently simplified a process I consider to be truly complex. The visual is more articulate than any words I can offer, so I hope you find some meaning in it.

I’m curious about visual analogies (I’m thinking infographics/illustrations less frameworks/flow charts) for the design process and invite you to share any you might have.

The Gendered Design Thinker

Women and design have a complex history – Or perhaps more appropriately, “a complex herstory”.

In learning more about design herstory, I have found myself reading literature that I was first introduced to in my undergraduate women’s studies classes about feminist critiques of design.  Much of this critical discussion (see Design and Feminism) focuses on the relationship between women and the built environment: How built spaces have and continue to be the embodiment of a patriarchal agenda, spatially (mentally, emotionally, and physically) segregating women and men into their respective private and public domains. Within this context, “pink ghettos”, the “feminization of poverty”, and urban design as monuments to male domination, money and power are common points of analysis. Moreover, a feminist perspective on design highlights the need for women to be fully integrated into the mainstream design agenda and better represented within the profession itself.  As a predominantly male-dominated field, there have been calls for better documentation and heightened visibility of female designers and their rich contributions to the field.

This of course is just a sliver of insight into design herstory, but hopefully gives you a sense of what I’ve been reading and the type of content that I have found to be predominant in the literature. Generally speaking though, it has been a challenge to find discussion around the overall female experience in design, and how gender and identity play into design process and design thinking.

What does it mean to be a gendered designer, and in particular, what does it mean to be a gendered design thinker?

…It’s a question that has been on mind a lot lately. While I do not have much literature to cite when it comes to the question above, it has nonetheless fueled a lot of further questions and thinking. For the most part, I have become curious about the way in which the socialization of women and gender roles contribute — for better or worse — to the way in which women experience and navigate the design process.

Below I pose three questions that I think are helpful in unpacking design thinking and advancing the dialogue around women in design. I don’t necessarily have answers rather, I offer explanations that I hope provide a snapshot into some of the connections I am drawing between women, gender and design.


Question: Are women socialized to be design thinkers?

Explanation: Let us think about the qualities of a design thinker. For argument’s sake, we will assume that design thinking is a creative process for creating something with intent. Design thinking can embody and privilege many different concepts, for instance, empathy, relationship building, collaboration, sensing, health, and aesthetics. So as a design thinker, it would be critical to have or develop an understanding of the concepts and be able to apply them to design practice. But, could it be that the qualities and concepts associated with design thinking are more aligned with the feminine and gendered qualities assigned to women? Central concepts like empathy, relationships, and sensing can arguably be regarded as feminine in nature and akin to the qualities that women are taught to embody as caregivers, mothers, and companions. Perhaps then, women are socialized in such a way that they have a high potential to be formidable design thinkers.


Question: Do women and men design (think) their way through a problem differently?

Explanation: Let’s take the example of failing in design thinking. I have read multiple articles about failing – that it is okay and encouraged to fail often and fail early in design. I agree, failing can be very healthy and a helpful and normal part of the learning process. However for the female design thinker, could failure be problematic? Given the disadvantage of women in design and the subsequent challenges gaining visibility and traction in the industry, perhaps failure is a more threatening concept for women than men? And perhaps, even if distally, this may suggest and reinforce historical perceptions of women as weak, irrational, and fragile. Finally, might this notion of failure be complicated and heightened by her diversity (e.g., she is a single mother, woman of colour, or a woman with a disability)? One might be risk averse if she generally has less social power or privilege to spare.


Question: What might a female-led approach to design thinking look like?

Explanation: If we think about the thought leaders, movers, and shakers in design thinking (Tim Brown, David Kelley, Bruce Mau, Roger Martin and John Thackara, to name a few), it is quite clear that it is a male-dominated school of thought. However, imagine taking a female-centered approach to the design process: Would this look different than mainstream design thinking as it exists today? Well, when it comes to women’s way of thinking, knowing, and doing, I think that a feminist approach to design thinking offers a helpful and refreshing way of challenging, critiquing, and leading a design process; this an approach that problematizes power dynamics, identity, hierarchy and equity and pushes for greater engagement in social activism, research and practice on the part of the designer. Not surprisingly, this is also how I envision a health promotion approach to design. In Design and Feminism, Leslie Kanes Weisman outlines ways in which feminist pedagogy can be useful for constructing a new model of architectural education — I would extend this further to say that this is a worthwhile approach for design in general — where students are taught to be “effective practitioners, problem solvers and leaders”. I will mention briefly here four feminist educational principles she discusses (p. 160):

1. Employ collaborative learning methods in which interdependent, team problem solving and cocreativity are practiced and rewarded over competitive, solitary problem solving and individual creativity.

2. Share authority and knowledge so that students are empowered to direct their own learning and so that people in other disciplines and with different life experiences can join in the discourse. In the future, the boundaries of the problem to be solved — not the boundaries of a single academic discipline — will determine what knowledge is needed and where it can best be found.

3. Emphasize ethical values, a respect for human diversity, and interconnectedness among all of humanity, the natural world, and the products of human design.

4. Eliminate false dichotomies by creating learning situations that connect academic theory with “hands-on” practice and by establishing collaborative relationships among designers, clients and user groups.

Adopting these principles could be a first step to a more inclusive, humanizing and woman-centered approach to design thinking and doing. However, we may have to starting taking a closer look at the community level before we are able to see who is practicing this approach and how within the greater design thinking landscape.

While I may not be able to offer answers, I think opening up a space to have a critical dialogue about gender, identity politics, and feminism is an important and worthwhile pursuit that can help continue to document and advance design and the women in this field. I realize I have also made a number of generalizations about women and design in this post but did so in order to play with the notion of the gendered design thinker.


InDesign Note: I’ve resisted using the pen tool for the “Dana the Designer” image, and tried to use the handy pencil tool in an attempt to create a less polished look.

The Design Enzyme

In biology, enzymes are defined as a class of proteins that catalyze or increase the rate of a chemical reaction. They do this by lowering the activation energy of the reaction — that is, the minimum amount of energy required to start a chemical reaction.  Through this process (see image above), substrates (molecules that enter the chemical reaction) come together at the active site of an enzyme where the enzyme helps convert them into products. Importantly, the enzyme itself is not consumed by the reactions they catalyze nor disturb the chemical equilibrium of the reactions taking place. However, it is important to note that the performance of the enzyme can depend on various factors: inhibitors slow enzyme activity, activators enhance activity, cofactors activate enzymes, and particular cellular conditions (pH, temperature, etc.) may be required for the enzyme to function in the first place. Simplistically and in keeping with the example of the enzymatic reaction above, the formula for the chemical reaction could look something like this:

S1 + S2 + E ⇌ ES1S2–> E + P

Where S1 = Substrate 1; S2 = Substrate 2; E = Enzyme; and P = Product.

In thinking about design thinking and the metaphors of science as my colleague and mentor Cameron Norman has in his Censemaking Blog, I started thinking about how an enzyme makes for a wonderful way of describing a designer/design thinker (used interchangeably here). This is a rather loose metaphor, but bear with me.

In keeping with what I have described above, design thinkers can help facilitate or even accelerate a design process. “Substrates” such as things like people, policies, or physical environments or even concepts such as empowerment, participation, and respect, are convened or infused by a designer in order to create a design solution to a particular problem. However, the designer can be influenced and dependent on other factors such as stakeholders, co-designers, or policies that determine whether or not the design process can take place effectively, if at all. As a consideration, it may be that certain conditions or substrates may be essential to the reaction otherwise the process may flop or may not even be regarded having been guided by “design thinking”. In the end, a product or solution is developed. Unlike an actual enzyme however, I’d like to think that the designer is much more versatile and able to catalyze different types of reactions and able to produce unique design solutions using what substrates it has available. Being adaptable and flexible to the various contexts and substrates within a particular design process seems like a critical quality of a designer in catalyzing a meaningful reaction. In some ways, enzymes can somewhat exhibit these qualities:

since enzymes are rather flexible structures, the active site is continually reshaped by interactions with the substrate as the substrate interacts with the enzyme.[29] As a result, the substrate does not simply bind to a rigid active site; the amino acid side chains which make up the active site are molded into the precise positions that enable the enzyme to perform its catalytic function. In some cases, such as glycosidases, the substrate molecule also changes shape slightly as it enters the active site.[30] The active site continues to change until the substrate is completely bound, at which point the final shape and charge is determined.[31] Induced fit may enhance the fidelity of molecular recognition in the presence of competition and noise via the conformational proofreading mechanism .[32]

– Wikipedia

So maybe the enzymatic reaction for a design thinking process could be something like:

S1 + S2 + D ⇌ DS1S2 –> D + So

Where S1 = Substrate 1; S2 = Substrate 2; D = Designer; and So = Solution.

Anyways, just some biochem for you to consider.

The Elements of Design Thinking Trading Cards

As a quick follow up to my previous post on the Elements of Design Thinking, I wanted to share some ‘trading cards’ of the elements that I hope will help stimulate thinking, discussion and development of the Table. To me, the most useful way of being able to understand the relationships and relevance of the listed elements is to play around with them, re-arrange them, add new ones, and take away others. Feel free to print off the pages, cut out the cards and play around with them.
I’d love to hear what you come with up!

The Elements of Design Thinking (version 1.0)

What are the fundamental concepts and theories behind “design thinking”?

I have been thinking about this question a lot lately as I try to understand some of the underpinnings and history of design thinking. This got me thinking about the “fundamentals”, those core constructs at the heart of this process.

So, my background is in biological sciences and I have getting back to my biology basics through a bit reading I’ve been doing on the neuroscience of pleasure and addictions (The book I finished is The Compass of Pleasure by David Linden…an excellent read by the way!). This book talks about neurological pathways, diving into the fine details of neurotransmitter release, dendrites, dopamine channels, and the stimulation of nerves leading to the emotional, mental and physical responses of the brain and body. This reminded me of the fundamental biochemical pathways and components that comprise the human body and are essential to our livelihood.

When I think about the fundamentals of design thinking, I think about a variety of ‘messy’ concepts that have come together, informed by a multiplicity of disciplines and ways of thinking, feeling, and doing. That said, it’s hard to pinpoint the underlying constructs of design thinking…rather I see diverse collections of design thinking concepts that have manifested themselves into the forms of design thinking that I see and read about. In this sense, it seems that there are essential building blocks of design thinking that are expressed in various permutations and combinations, depending on the designer and context in which it is being practiced.

I was inspired by the periodic table of the elements in thinking about this. The periodic table has always been a point of fascination and brilliance to me. The fact that science has identified essential elements that comprise all human life and all matter is pretty cool. There is a beautiful order to the elements that dictates their very composition, behaviours, and relationships. The elements themselves are comprised of subatomic particles (protons and neutrons for instance) and there are still a lot of unknowns and things to discover as we dig even further (quirks, quarks, etc.). Amazingly, when grouped into periods (rows), families (columns), and blocks there are patterns of similarity, synergy, and difference that emerge.

The above image is an attempt (a very crude and incomplete attempt that is) to highlight some major concepts that have come up in my design, design thinking, and health promotion learnings that I felt were elemental to “design thinking”. Please note that I intentionally tried to avoid the inclusion of design methods and wanted to include only major themes rather than list too many sub-categories of potential elements (e.g., senses like “touching”, “smelling”, etc. were not listed individually but assumed to fall under the umbrella term “sensing”).

These elements have been organized into families and periods (very loosely) — this was sort of my own challenge to see if I could come up with some clear connections between these concepts across the table’s horizontal and vertical axes. As I expected, this was really really difficult and I don’t think I’ve managed to do it. What I’ve come up with is a 1.0 version of this table and I welcome feedback, new ideas, and alternative language, words, concepts, and groupings. After all, this is the start of an experiment…like a sketch on the back of a napkin that can be either a really great idea or a complete flop. Also, you’ll also notice gaps in the table where some concepts may have been missed or unaccounted for. Certainly this table is not as orderly (or ‘natural’) as Mendeleev’s!

Perhaps the use of a table is a bit too mechanistic, scientific, or generally just not amenable to design thinking? I will say that I think there is value in thinking about the design thinking elements that are core to all design thinking practice (e.g., I have proposed these elements in red) and how these can be blended together with various combinations of other elements to create a unique design thinking space for particular contexts, problems, and people. I also appreciate that these concepts/words can be adapted to fit the language and definitions of any designer and that they are visible in one space so they are made more explicit and clear. Moreover, the combinations of elements can potentially be weaved into various theories (e.g., of learning, education, behaviour change, and design) so that we can make better sense of all this”design thinking” stuff.


UPDATE: My follow up post, Elements of Design Thinking “trading cards”, has a series of cards with the elements on them for you to print off and cut out if you’re interested in playing around with these concepts even further! Thanks.


For InDesign-ers: I am having trouble applying colours to shapes/lines outside of the automatic swatches offered in the main palet (notice that I used the standard colours available in the palet for the image above). Is there a more extensive colour selection I can choose from? This has been an ongoing problem for me! Oy.