- Citibank lost $500 million due to a bad user interface. But the primary issue isn’t just aesthetics or usability; it’s the lack of a clear user conceptual model.
- Scott Berkun compiled a list of the most difficult UX concepts to explain. I especially loved this one: “Even the best UX design can’t fix messed up organizational structure or people problems.” Preach!
- Boon Chew’s resources for designers who are into systems thinking. I was sad to miss Interaction21, but I’m happy to see systems thinking was a running theme in this year’s conference.
- If you’re concerned (as I am) about the effects of internet culture on our body politic, I recommend Martin Gurri’s The Revolt of the Public. This book reset my understanding of what’s happened to our societies over the last fifteen years or so. Amazon (affiliate link) and my book notes.
- “So far, it appears that the American people have not yet developed the critical thinking skills to sort truth from nonsense online, plausible argument from baseless conspiracy theory, science from wishful thinking.” A long-view take on the digital publishing revolution. (H/t Cecily Sommers)
- “People who can reach preposterous conclusions from a long chain of abstract reasoning, and feel confident in their truth, are the wrong people to be running a culture.” A hilarious reality check on the claims of AI superintelligence advocates. (H/t John Thackara)
- Same Energy, an intriguing new visual search engine that uses deep learning to find images that ‘feel’ like other images. Useful for creating mood boards? (H/t Kevin Kelly)
- A profile of graphic adventure pioneer Roberta Williams, who co-founded Sierra On-Line. Her work has been tremendously influential; it’s good to see her career celebrated by the Smithsonian. (Bonus: you can play Williams’s first graphic adventure, Mystery House, for free on the Internet Archive.)
- I’m always thrilled to see other creative people’s thinking artifacts. If you’re a fan of Christopher Nolan’s film INCEPTION, you’ll likely enjoy his hand-drawn map of the movie’s plot.
- Enduring digital artifacts: on the origins of GPS triangle cursor, which – I was surprised to learn — comes from one of my favorite classic video games.
A version of this post first appeared in my newsletter.
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