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

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Stability vs. disruption, and the three pillars of a big company

After finishing school, I worked in several small and privately-owned companies. The hierarchy there is simple—the founder is usually the CEO, and everyone else reports to him or her. Small companies often specialize and work in a niche.

It took me four years of working in a big company to figure out its structure and social dynamics of different groups of employees. Below is my current understanding. Read more

Wrinkles

I scribbled down a few thoughts about wrinkles back in early 2015. Yes, wrinkles. During the years up to that point, I’ve been noticing how much people yearn for youth and beauty, and started to think about what would it mean if I had wrinkles. The way I saw it then, having wrinkles would mean I’ve lived long and that I haven’t died in an accident or from disease too early. The shape of wrinkles would also indicate if I’ve smiled or frowned a lot. I really want the wrinkles from smiling.

I was onto something by hinting at the importance of how my time was spent, but couldn’t put it nicely in a short form. Then this year I read On the shortness of life by Seneca, a Roman philosopher. He wrote in the essay:

There’s no reason to believe that someone has lived long because he has gray hair and wrinkles: he’s not lived long but long existed.

Questions designers ask themselves

Here is a typical progression of the question designers ask themselves the most as they go from junior to more senior roles:

  • Is it beautiful?
  • Is it usable?
  • Is it ethical?
  • Is it even needed?

When you get to the last question, you realize the questions should have been asked in the opposite direction from the start. That’s probably a part of the learning process.

Design sprints are like excavators

Credits

I have a boy toddler, so excavators are always on top of my mind. Excavators move a lot of rubble and dirt around. They put a construction site into its initial shape. They’re big, crude, and noisy. They can traverse soft and loose ground.

Excavators are also an apt metaphor for design sprints. Sprints are great for getting everyone to the same level of understanding or changing the direction of a project—beliefs and strongly held assumptions are sometimes harder to move than stones and dirt. Sprints also work well when you don’t have all the details. Read more

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

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