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I made the following in October 2018 when I was at Intercom. At the time, I was mentoring a few junior designers and thinking about how to scale the design team’s beliefs and practices as well as what good product design writing is. It was my attempt at a crash course in product design. I’m sharing this now in case it’s valuable to other people, especially if you’re starting out in the field or trying to learn about software product design in general.

It’s rather Intercom-dogma-heavy, so take of that what you will. I won’t attempt to critique it now…

A trip on a crack
A slip over a cliff
A blank page in a book
A black hole overlooked

To see what is not there
Find what is gone
Ask why it is missing
Learn what took so long

For what makes you special?
Are you that great?
To uncover a problem
No one else would unbreak

Start slow in your approach
Don’t hurry the pace
Clarity doesn’t come easy
Understanding too often in haste

Count the minutes
Spend the days
Will this be worth it?
Will you be too late?

What will carry you through
The weeks, months, years…

For any other candidate, I would talk about how I voted for sane fiscal and foreign policy, early childhood interventions, gun violence prevention, paid family leave, infrastructure and tech investment, green energy, women’s health rights, criminal justice reform, and the plethora of other issues at stake for our country.

But I’ve waited my whole life to vote for HRC as president. So I’m going to talk about what this vote means to me and my family.

When I was a child, freshly immigrated to this country, my mother found strength in Hillary Clinton’s story as she struggled to raise me…

Is there a place for us
In this great experiment
Corrupted by out-liars
Corroded by fear

Is there justice for us
Standing without kin in kind
Without weapon in mind
Our hands above us

You assault
With mental stones and doubting tones
Pervert jabs and callous slaps
Wanton lies and complicit ties

How will truth ring loud
On a racket stage
How will reason appear
In a blood sport play

Is there freedom for us
Always looking behind
Hunted by lurid shadows
Our arms around us

You violate
Norms of behavior, codes of conduct
Order of law, rule of decency
But we are…

We are creatures of circumstance
Not the product of fixed features

Our skin is the color of destiny
Or defiance
Our voice is the decibel of defeat
Or mutiny

P’arriba o p’abacho
We take the floor
Snap the pop elastic

To arabesque and then plié
Explode at drops
Exhale at melodies
Dile que sí, claro que si

Though our eyes have never met the sun
And our hands have never touched fire
Give us a hammer
And we will forge a rocketship
Set the ceiling
And we will unshackle the moon

We are beasts who starve for choice
And thirst for…

The economy of ambition —
it means five things.

it is a system,
a hierarchy of wealth,
that we assume only
a few can own
the majority,
only those with nothing
to lose
by family and history.

it is a wisdom of choice,
a parsimony of decision-making,
risk-taking, heart-breaking,
to match effort to
outcome, fit people to
hypothesis, passion to market,
a silicon promise.
Save, don’t spend.

it is the richest luxury
marketplace. …

The Complexity Is Human Series

No designer would argue with simplicity, clarity, consistency, and quality. Few designers would argue against beauty, utility, charm, and efficiency. In this series, I will attempt to do so. The ultimate objective of this exercise is debate and exploration.

Strip it the bare essentials. Make it minimal. Less is more. KISS. Simplicity.

This is the mantra emblazoned on our walls, chanted in our meetings, and recited in our heads as we design. This is the principle perfected by the products we worship, embodied by the heroes we admire, and touted as the banner under which we march. …

In Act II, Scene 4 of Twelfth Night, Viola recounts to Orsino the tale of her love for him. She is in disguise and he does not know that he is the muse of her melancholy. In a passionate monologue, she plumbs the depths of her suffering:

She pined in thought,
And with a green and yellow melancholy
She sat like Patience on a monument,
Smiling at grief.

Twelfth Night is my favorite Shakespeare play. When I was a teenager, I obsessed over how perfectly these lines echoed the feelings I had for my high school crushes: yearning for them…

By Cards Against Humanity

How to cut bias in hiring designers

There is someone I think about at the start of every interview. When a candidate has trouble expressing their thoughts, I remember how that person nervously stumbled over their words and I try to give an encouraging smile. When an interviewer asks me a question, I take a deep breath and wonder silently if this is how that person felt at our meeting.

Recently, I have revisited, dissected, and agonized over our interactions over and over again in search of answers I will not find. Was I fair? Did I help give them the best possible chance for success? Did…

curiouser and curiouser

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