17 April 2008

The restless mind

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The restless mind
Mark Ury contacted me the other day. He is the chief experience architect for Blast Radius and has a very good blog, entitled “The Restless Mind“, that features the kind of “slow” insightful writing that I really enjoy.

Take a look at some of his latest posts:

  • The design of everyday relationships
    MIT Professor Donald Schön [observed] that design is a “conversation with materials.” In many ways users have become “materials” as much as participants. We not only engage them explicitly through interaction design to create discrete features, but also in aggregate as social systems and platforms amplify their implicit actions to create value.
     
  • The siren call of the system
    Well-designed systems are not, in fact, designed. They are the product of evolution. […] Systems, like narratives, take time to reveal themselves to their authors. Changes in technology, consumer preferences, and markets take years to play out. It’s not clear from day one where the system will go or how it will adapt. […] Systems are so rarely produced because they take time and time is one resource companies don’t have. Most die long before the system is revealed.
     
  • Apple and the enigma of innovation
    What makes Apple special isn’t design. Or process. Or talent. It’s fear. Fear of the man who is a riddle, wrapped in a mystery, inside an enigma. (And sheathed in titanium.)
    An engineer slaving away on the iPhone SDK isn’t concerned about the industry, his peers, or his boss. His relentless pursuit of “system elegance” is simply an animal’s instinct to avoid pain, manifested largely during the senior management review.
     

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