Another reflection on how the culture of tech and design probably needs to change, this time from Basecamp product designer Jonas Downey.
Designers and programmers are great at inventing software… Unfortunately we’re not nearly as obsessed with what happens after that, when people integrate our products into the real world. They use our stuff and it takes on a life of its own. Then we move on to making the next thing. We’re builders, not sociologists.
A/B testing is a great way of finding out what happens when you introduce a change. But it can’t tell you why.
Part of this is also about a narrow focus on the wrong metrics. If a business decides it simply wants to increase the percentage of people hitting a partiuclar call to action on a webpage, this is the path they will end up on.
If, however, they can find a more sophisticated way to measure long-term customer satisfaction, surely users will feel less stressed, and the business will improve more in the long run.
I was amazed — and delighted — by the V&A design museum’s decision to preserve a section of Robin Hood Gardens, the controversial social housing estate that is set to be demolished. It will be the largest section of a modern building ever to be preserved by a museum.
A selection of lecture slides from John Richings James. He was chief planner of the Ministry of Housing and Local Government during the 1960s, when many of the country’s most controversial developments were constructed.
When he became a lecturer, he took with him a fascinating selection of photos that show the good, bad and ugly of the brave new world while it was being developed.
Absolutely stunning news that the V&A design museum has acquired a section Robin Hood Gardens for preservation. The design may be controversial and divisive, but I find it difficult to understand any argument that it is not significant and worth preserving.
Richard Thaler has won the Nobel economics prize for his work in behavioural economics. Knowing about this area is essential if you are a designer, to help you gain an understanding of what makes people tick.
I stopped following architecture years ago, so I had no idea there was this renewed interest in my work until recently. I thought my buildings were a curiosity of the past that people had largely forgotten about.
When you ask people who are the most innovative companies, people [tend to say] ‘Apple. Apple’s super innovative’. Actually, they’re not. They sit back and wait and see how people use things – and they take things that exist.
Our perspective on how a digital product should be managed is strongly influenced by our background and our role. That certainly helps explain some of the difficult conversations I have had over the years.
As a web designer with an interest in brutalist architecture, I was fascinated to read an article about what web designers can learn from brutalism. But perhaps instead of taking inspiration, perhaps the lessons are in what web designers should avoid.
I recently made some tweaks to the colours of this website. I have always felt that colour theory was one of my weakest points as a designer, so I like to take any opportunity I can to learn more about it.
On Sunday, Dundee’s tallest buildings disappeared from the skyline forever. They were merely 40 years old, but were said to be too costly to maintain and too difficult to rent out. In seconds, these proud, sturdy structures collapsed into rubble — but not without a fight.