This week start here:

Russell Davies is connecting dots again (3min), this time between Nick Foster’s insistence on designing for broken-ness (28min) and Richard Pope on designing accountability into products, services, and experiences (7min). They’re each brilliant on their own, but Mr. Davies ties them together eloquently:

One failure mode is ‘I have run out of paper’, another is ‘my data has been sold to a company I don’t trust’, another is ‘my country has been invaded and they’ve seized all the servers’.

These are things to be designed for. These are user needs too. They have to be embraced. From an interview in the Keith McMillen Instruments blog with custom synthesizer designer Olivier Gillet on his design process (6min), this:

The main process is thinking in terms of “activities” or “processes” the musician would like to achieve, and then try to come up with parameters / dimensions the musician could control. I also like to mathematically abstract an existing synthesis technique – find new parameters, or new ways of controlling its parameters. It’s why some of my modules do not really fit pre existing categories, or why there are knobs that influence different parameters behind the scenes. 

There’s something really wonderful about Gillet’s idea of designing ‘in terms of activities or processes that someone would like to achieve’, rather than simply focusing on the outcomes of those tasks. At some point, a focus on end utility marginalizes the magic of designing for a process.

The world of 3D copyright and IP management is, very quietly, maturing (3 min).

Algorithmic comic book illustration (3min) using DeepUI is about to do for the printed page what CG did for cinema.

Nick Bilton’s history of the ‘we want a hole, not a drill’ trope (5min) — and its connection to the ‘sharing economy’ — is considerably more interesting than you’d expect.

From the mixed-up files of Tyler Durden: the Fitbits we own end up owning us (4min).

If you missed the Uber Design Team’s story of the Uber cash transaction design (6min), it’s absolutely worth reading.

Semil Shah’s list of megatrends reshaping the (American) football landscape (4min): the mainstreaming of fantasy sports, cash gaming in fantasy, and real-time audience aggregation makes for great reading, even if you’ve no real affinity for the sport.

This is brilliant: Patricio Gonzalez Vivo has developed a series of map shading algorithms in tribute to legendary designer Ryoji Ikeda. Check out London and Cape Town and Allston.

Peter Bihr explores some really great questions about the portability and extensibility of the data we hold most dear: our preferences (8min).

MeasuringU has a quick and dirty primer on calculating lifetime customer value (7min) that’s worth bookmarking.

Isabelle Quevilly has a wonderfully readable piece on the Brilliant Noise blog on ways in which financial services brands can engender trust (6min), namely:

  1. demonstrating stability
  2. proving competence
  3. declare intention

If you’ve not the time for it now, bookmark it for later.

Finally, apropos of nothing: this week’s Dark Matter was composed while taking in an epic mix of old school electro and hip hop released this week by legendary UK duo Autechre (4+ hours!). A tangible uptick in your productivity is guaranteed.

Until next week.