Posts

On embodied emissions, exploitation and the unsustainability of consumer products

One core feature of globalised capitalism is that supply and demand, production and consumption are geographically separated. Consumers buying physical products have very little visibility into the supply chain and the participating organisations beyond the maker (the public brand) and the seller (the place of purchase). As consumers, we tend to stick with the story crafted by marketing and advertising, and assessing the sustainability of a product beyond this superficial understanding is a challenge we are not encouraged to take on.

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Undo capitalism or it will undo us

Let’s start with an assumption:

We want to live meaningful lives on a healthy planet and we want the generations to come to be able to do the same.

And a related definition of true sustainability (Ehrenfeld 2009):

[Sustainability is] the possibility that humans and other life will flourish on the planet forever

We are currently using 1.7 Earths each year. This means that ‘we use more ecological resources and services than nature can regenerate, through overfishing, overharvesting forests, and emitting more carbon dioxide into the atmosphere than ecosystems can absorb’ (source).

Our current way of life is deeply unsustainable.

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Technology and the tragedy of quiet as a commons

This post is about noise. It follows us everywhere, and there are lots of it.

I am writing this in the middle of Melbourne at an open-plan office where the floors above and the property next door have been renovated for months. Drilling, grinding, banging, hacking, boring, buzzing, sawing.

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Should UX designers have portfolios?

Person sitting in a cafe with a laptop
Photo by Nathan Dumlao on Unsplash

This point was raised in a recent Slack conversation where we discussed whether UX designers should have portfolios:

When talking about recruiting for UX and asked about portfolios, the speaker said “all that tells me is that you are a UI designer who thinks they know about UX”

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Minimum Viable Product: Build a slice across, instead of one layer at a time

This is my most popular tweet of all time: ‘Minimum Viable Product: Build a slice across, instead of one layer at a time’

The intention of the diagram is to show an alternative approach to MVP compared to the ‘traditional’ way of building products from the bottom up.

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Presentation: Usability testing – Just Do It. Five methods for improving usability in-house

I recently gave an introductory lecture on usability testing to an audience of project and program managers, each in charge of their own team’s online and mobile projects. The lecture was based on these three observations I’ve made in my past work:

  1. All web projects can benefit from usability testing
  2. Most web projects don’t include usability testing, often due to cost or schedule
  3. Basic usability testing is really not that difficult and most professionals can learn how to do it.

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How to name your product, service, or startup

When creating something new it is essential to name it. Whether it’s a product, service, or startup that you’re working on it has to have a name so you can identify it, identify with it and start telling others about it.

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