Worth Your Attention

  • “All architecture is design, but not all design is architecture.” A great Twitter thread by Grady Booch about the architecture of software systems. (Many of his points also apply to the architecture of UX.)
  • “Understanding the key properties of complex systems can help us clarify and deal with many new and existing global challenges, from pandemics to poverty and ecological collapse.” How understanding complex systems can help us manage complexity.
  • “Seams aren’t just connection points, they are the space where the connections are made. Not every connection needs a seam, but, where seams exist, meaning, memory, and ‘what matters’ can as well.” Brian Dell explores our world’s vanishing seams.
  • “The taste for this kind of mood — slow, quiet, meditative — used to be marginal but now, I’m happy to say, there are quite a lot of people at that margin. To me that signifies the emergence of a new type of mind, a type of mind we need in this new type of world.” Brian Eno in an interview about Mixing Colours, his new(ish) album with his brother Roger. (This music has been a salve for me in this stressful year.)
  • “How to enable not users but adaptors? How can people move from using a product, to understanding how it hangs together and making their own changes? How do you design products with, metaphorically, screws not nails?” Matt Webb revisits Dan Hill’s work on Adaptive Design.
  • From my blog: One of the hardest things about critiquing a product is putting aside our “expert” understanding of how it works.
  • A16Z on the opportunities inherent in unbundling the verticals latent in platforms.
  • I’m not thrilled about some recent changes to WordPress, the CMS that hosts my websites. A recent post by Ev Williams has me considering a possible change.
  • How do you choose the right note-taking app? It depends on whether you’re an architect, a gardener, or a librarian. (h/t Benjamin Schneider)
  • Ask Nature, a repository of natural strategies for solving complex problems — “it’s time to begin asking the rest of our complex planetary family how to build a more resilient, regenerative, and beautiful world.” (Via Recomendo, a great weekly newsletter from the folks at Cool Tools.)

These links appeared previously in my newsletter, which comes out every other Sunday. Sign up here.