Hot off the press

The design of goals

I know what you’re thinking—the internet does not need another self-indulgent post about goal setting. You’re right. And yet, here we are. In general, I’ve found that pop psychology articles about goals are unhelpful and uninspired. I’ve tried to draw on ideas from evolutionary biology, complex adaptive systems, behavioral finance, and engineering to offer a (hopefully) unique and helpful take on the design of goals. I pray the self-help gods of Medium will forgive me for this post.

Dispatches from bizarro corporate culture

Let’s imagine what an alien would think of our corporate cultural norms—the rituals and scripts that govern daily office life. Our alien friend is like an annoying little kid who can’t stop asking why. The explanations are left as an exercise for the reader.

Figma UX design kit

I’ve been using Figma to do UX workshops with engineers, marketers, salespeople, & designers at Uber. It’s a super fun way to collaborate in real-time—especially with remote teammates. I put together a kit to get you started.

Design as (un)ethical illusion

User interfaces are maps of complex territories, and all maps are incomplete truths. In light of Facebook’s controversies, it’s clear that UI designers need a code of ethics. How might we create interfaces that hide complexity without obscuring too much truth?

Confirmation bias is a feature, not a bug

The predictive processing model is a promising and powerful new way of understanding how the brain works. But it also suggests some inconvenient truths about the way we process information and news.

Sean Hannity vs. Tristan Harris: Debating the dangers of social media

Tristan Harris is the founder of the Center for Humane Technology—an organization that is trying to get technology platforms to stop hijacking our minds. His message is spreading like wildfire, but it hasn’t yet caught the attention of conservative media. What fault lines will emerge when this movement goes mainstream?

Empathy with blinders

A brief warning about the corporatization of human-centered design.

Growth mindset gone astray

This is a story about why “coming out” is such a terrible misnomer, and also a story about stories, game theory, changing minds, and how we humans might unravel the mess we’ve made.

Art on the BART: My Snapchat finger painting experiment

Last month, I challenged myself to create one drawing per day during my 15-minute commute. I turned to an unlikely medium: Snapchat. There’s something inspiring about its constraints. A drawing tool. A color picker. 4.7 inches of screen. A few emojis and stickers. It’s the anti-Photoshop. What could go wrong?