This week, start here:
It’s a little headier than your usual fare, but Thomas Wendt’s takedown of eight commonly held conventions of experience design — from the the value of design intent to the need for invisible interfaces and the rationality of users — is a fantastic piece of writing. It’s a long read, but one that channels Heidegger and Descartes in asking a critically important question, namely:

as we design ever-more-complex experiences for people, are we missing a foundation in the humanities that informs a real understanding of human interactions?

If you’re not able to read this now, do bookmark it, folks.


If you’ve not seen the slides from Jason Mesut’s talk on the future of future interfaces, it’s brilliant stuff. Even those not directly charged with interface, service or experience design will find useful material on the forces shaping the ways in which humans understand and control machines.

To design better, write better. To write better, read more. To read more, give yourself quiet time.

— Etsy Creative Director Randy J. Hunt on Twitter.

Andy Whitlock wins the week with this:

Things are digital when the Internet is in them, not when they’re in the internet.

Clever, yes. True, also.

Quietly overlooked in this week’s Supreme Court ruling on Aereo, this from the majority opinion, in regard to mobile phones:

such a pervasive and insistent part of daily life that a visitor from Mars might conclude they were an important feature of human anatomy. (h/t @tjparker)

Another gem from John Willshire:

Innovation isn’t what you bring, it’s what you leave behind.

It’s quite a smart point, really — that the introduction of the new frequently finds its legacy in the work that’s done once you (the individual or the agency) have left. We love this:

this makes innovation hard for traditional agency models to find a viable role for. If you’re there to deliver continued value over time (“we are here to do this for you”), as if it was an advertising campaign, then you’re not really leaving anything in the client organisation to make it stronger. Perhaps successful innovation demands a generousity of spirit, leaving as much as it can as continued catalyst, if it is to stick from the outside.

Josh Gans had a great post this week on the relationship between disruption and organizational identity — he’s applied some really smart thinking here to what he’s calling value chain strategy, and it’s a terrifically-relevant to those diving into regulated markets in which the choice between disruption and cooperation is critical.


If you’ve not seen it, Google is challenging girls to make new things with tools that have too long been the domain of boys. Made With Code is a fantastic site aimed at reaching young girls with the idea that the things they love — from 3D-printed bracelets to high fashion to beats — are all made (by girls) with machines and lines of text.