Intro 2

The Latest…

Design is a Verb (10/17/2017) - I avoid using the word design as a noun. This keeps me from lapsing into lazy thinking about the object of my practice.  Consider this sentence: “I like the design of the new iPhone.” Can you point to what “the design” is? What exactly do you like about it? “The design” is vague. A semantic […]
TAOI: WikipediaVision (10/16/2017) - The architecture of information: In order to respond effectively, actors in an information environment must be able to clearly perceive what is happening in the parts of the system that affect them. The Wikipedia is an information environment that is constantly changing, and editors need tools to allow them to monitor those changes. WikipediaVision is […]
Chasing Engagement (10/15/2017) - When discussing changes to an information environment, I sometimes hear “increasing engagement” stated as one of the project objectives. By this, stakeholders mean creating conditions that encourage people to spend more time in the environment, either through longer visits or more frequent ones, hoping this will increase revenue. I understand the desire to increase engagement. […]
Alignment (10/14/2017) - One of the most common complaints I hear from stakeholders in large companies is that their colleagues in other parts of the organization are working in “silos.” By this, they mean these people have their own goals, incentives, processes, systems, and structures that make it difficult for them to work together towards a common goal. […]
A World Run by Synthesizers (10/13/2017) - “We are drowning in information, while starving for wisdom. The world henceforth will be run by synthesizers, people able to put together the right information at the right time, think critically about it, and make important choices wisely.” — E. O. Wilson
Perpetual Prototyping (10/13/2017) - Complex systems are not static; they’re always changing in response to changing conditions inside and outside them. They are in a continuous state of becoming; a snapshot of a system at any moment in time will quickly be out of date as the system keeps evolving. Consider the Wikipedia. During the time it takes for […]
Architecture and Identity (10/12/2017) - At their most basic level, buildings — our homes, offices, shops, etc. — protect us from the elements. They give us ways to carry out our activities in environments that keep our bodies safe, warm, and dry. They make it possible for us to convene as groups to get things done ​while keeping us and […]
Principles (10/11/2017) - Principle (n): a fundamental truth or proposition that serves as the foundation for a system of belief or behavior or for a chain of reasoning We often talk of “design principles” at the beginning of projects. But are they really principles or merely suggestions? The proof comes whenever you’re called to make a difficult design […]
TAOI: Koya Bound (10/10/2017) - The architecture of information: In April 2016, Craig Mod and Dan Rubin spent eight days walking the Kumano Kodo, an ancient Japanese pilgrimage route. Armed with good shoes and good cameras, they documented their trip and published it as a beautiful book and website. The website is particularly interesting — as you scroll down, an […]
Platforms and Ecosystems (10/9/2017) - I’ve written about how “product” is the wrong framing for many digital things. After I published that post, I’ve heard back from some people asking why not talk about platforms as the objects we’re designing, instead of ecosystems. After all, “platform” is a more common word in the world of software. First, it’s important to […]