Episode 8 of The Informed Life podcast features an interview with product designer Trip O’Dell. Before his career in tech, where he’s worked leading technology companies such as Adobe, Microsoft, and Amazon, Trip was a teacher, introducing new technologies to students so they could tell stories in new ways. When he was a student himself, Trip was diagnosed with dyslexia, and in this episode we discuss how this allows him to think differently. We also talked about the ways he leverages technology to help him, including this nugget:
[I use] systems that separate but then I also have systems that bring together and synchronize. For instance, it’s really easy for me to lose things. That’s sort of the the dyslexic characteristic like where are we think in matrices we kind of also need to have everything out in front of us to be able to make those connections and a lot of software is built to just have you do one thing at a time. It’s built modally, right?
This idea that some systems are better for “separating” — concepts, ideas, etc. — while others are better for “bringing together” — is important. I, too, tend to jump between systems depending on whether I’m trying to analyze or synthesize something, but I hadn’t thought of it consciously like Trip has.