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I write about design, technology, and people. Sometimes I take photos of places I visit.

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Edge vs. stress cases

I’m reading Design for real life by Eric Meyer & Sara Wachter-Boettcher, and I’m enjoying one small word twist. Instead of saying edge cases, they call them stress cases. That change makes all the difference in how we perceive the importance of situations that don’t occur as often.

The example the authors use in the book is:

Someone trying to shut down their account in a hurry is an edge case.

Someone trying to shut down their account in a hurry is a stress case.

The first sounds dismissable. The second sounds inevitable.

Inclusive design by Microsoft

Microsoft’s inclusive design principles struck a chord with me. I especially like their Persona Spectrum:

We use the Persona Spectrum to understand related mismatches and motivations across a spectrum of permanent, temporary, and situational scenarios. It’s a quick tool to help foster empathy and to show how a solution scales to a broader audience.

Image description.

I was in a similar situation last year:

I became a parent last month and the way I use technology has changed in a way I didn’t expect. I do way more things with one hand than before. A newborn baby requires a lot of attention and there are always some chores to do.

I encourage you to visit Microsoft Design website and check out their manual and activity cards—great resources to foster empathy.

Sound like yourself

Kurt Vonnegut on how to write with style when English is not your first language:

All these varieties of speech are beautiful, just as the varieties of butterflies are beautiful. No matter what your first language, you should treasure it all your life. If it happens to not be standard English, and if it shows itself when your write standard English, the result is usually delightful, like a very pretty girl with one eye that is green and one that is blue.

— originaly printed in Palm Sunday in 1999

Good books I read in 2016

Books on a shelf

Some of the best books I’ve read in my life were those I read in 2016. Here are my top picks from the past year. Read more

Interaction 17

Co-chair Josh Clark on the stage

I have been planning to attend the Interaction conference for years, but something always got in the way. This year I got lucky and went to New York with more than a thousand other design professionals. The summary: it was excellent. Mostly. Read more

If you want to read more, check out the archive.

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