Why Mechanics Design
I describe a new type of work that sets product design apart from UI design, and forms the basis for the design role at Quora.
Mechanics Case Study: Twitter
I apply concepts from mechanics design to look at the extreme trade-offs Twitter makes in its product.
Atoms vs. Sessions
Analyzing the structure of satisfying experiences with foundational game design concepts.
Where the Floor is Really Lava
A personal essay for
where I share my experiences being a father in the age of Minecraft.
Design Conflicts in Messenger Day
Looking for harmony between the distinct layers of a product's design and implementation.
Why are so many product design teams releasing design systems these days?
I argue that the flourishing of design systems reflects a pursuit of leverage in an era of commodity UI practices.
Made to Measure
My piece for Issue 4 of The Manual. A destructive model positions data and design in opposition, but redefining and embracing data opens up deeper understanding and greater ability to design for reality.
What can software product designers learn from game designers?
Game design is ahead of product design in a number of areas, which I detail here.
Does the Apple logo really adhere to the golden ratio?
I investigate and hopefully debunk the widely-believed myth that Apple’s logo is derived from the Fibonacci sequence.
The materials from the talk I gave at Build 2013, in which I ask designers to reconsider their identity and broaden their impact.
Metagames and Containers
Playing with the effects of structure on the reading experience. I promise I wrote this before “gamification” was a thing.
The Momentary Compression of Design
I speculate that we’re in the middle of a confusing, temporary phase in design that will soon end with a rapid expansion of the field.
The Myth of the Myth of the Unicorn Designer
I argue that so-called “unicorn” designers are very real, and that the generalist approach has underappreciated benefits.