summing up 72

i am trying to build a jigsaw puzzle which has no lid and is missing half of the pieces. i am unable to show you what it will be, but i can show you some of the pieces and why they matter to me. if you are building a different puzzle, it is possible that these pieces won't mean much to you, maybe they won't fit or they won't fit yet. then again, these might just be the pieces you're looking for. this is summing up, please find previous editions here.

When We Build, by Wilson Miner

When we design this new generation of digital tools for this ecosystem's screen, we have a longer horizon ahead of us than just the next software platform or the next version of a technology. We have a longer lineage behind us than just the web or software design or even computers. Steve Jobs said the thing that separates us from the high primates is that we're tool builders. We make things, we make things that change our lives and we make things that changed the world. This is a long and long lasting tradition. We shape our tools, and our tools shape us. We're a product of our world and our world is made of things. Things we use, things we love, things we carry with us and the things we make. We're the product of our world but we're also its designer. Design is the choices we make about the world we want to live in.

this is an exceptional talk on media and human perceptions. as more of the tools we live with every day become digital instead of physical, our opportunity – and responsibility – as designers is increasing. currently we are in a unique position to shape the tools we will use in the next century, and to define how those tools will shape us, create and dictate our behavior. the gist is extremely relevant for us right now, as our way of thinking, our opportunities and our technology are highly dependent on the quality and potential of our tools. highly recommended

Why I can’t convince executives to invest in UX (and neither can you), by Jared Spool

I’ve been pitching our services for 23 years and I’ve never once successfully convinced an executive of anything.

Our success has always come from projects where the client team, including the senior management, already understood the value of great user experiences. I haven’t convinced them because they didn’t need convincing.

You can’t convince a smoker to quit smoking. They need to just decide they’ll do it. On their own. When they are ready. It’s the same with executives. Neither I, you, nor anybody else can convince an executive to invest in user experience.

this article hits very close to home for me as i often had similar experiences. in all successful pitches i rarely pushed for ux, but almost always took a step back and found out what executives were already convinced of. at large they have something they want to improve, be it related to revenues, reducing costs, increasing the number of customers, increasing sales or making their team more effective. good user experience can help with each of those things. but there is rarely a one-size-fits-all solution for any of these. however, once you start talking about what executives are already convinced of, things get much more easy. how can you argue with a customer who is struggling checking out a product on your website or one not being able to use the app you provide? once you are no longer trying to change their focus, you're playing directly into their main field of attention.

on ditching css frameworks and preprocessors, by yours truly

What if I were to tell you...CSS is already a framework for styling HTML, and that by actually taking the time to learn it, one can make significantly less shitty websites that are actually responsive, don’t require a quad-core with 8GB of ram just to render, and that another front-end-developer who isn’t hip on whatever flavor-of-the-month bullshit framework can actually be able to maintain it?

in this short post i try to make a point on how ditching existing css frameworks and preprocessors is the first step towards a modern, bloat free web. in my opinion you will save time and money in the long run by reducing abstraction, being able to update it easily and avoiding extra cruft, and of course the latest css modules specification will make those frameworks and preprocessors superfluous in the medium term. i'd be very interested to hear about your comments and experiences on this topic!

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My letters are about long-lasting, sustainable change that fundamentally amplify our human capabilities and raise our collective intelligence through generations. Would love to have you on board.