reflection improves communication

tl;dr If you’re not reflecting on your product practices, then you’re going to have a hard time improving them. Today I reflect some more on communication. When you’re the communicator, you have the power to establish a clear frame of reference for your audience in order to minimize the possibility of misunderstanding, accurately convey research […]

the first design problem

There’s a great line in a recent exploration of near-future UX issues. It goes: Design is about solving problems. And deciding how to solve a problem is the first design problem to be solved. I like this report, but I want to offer a different perspective here. Deciding how to solve a problem could in […]

You Can Always Start Designing

Over the past few days, I have heard a few students and colleagues say a variation of the following: I don’t know enough to start designing yet. I want to challenge this idea. I don’t think that there is some threshold of knowledge that must be passed before one can start designing. You can always […]


My wife (and daughter) gifted me a Lumio last week. I love it. It’s beautiful and fun. It sits on my desk next to my laptop and I find myself reaching for it several times a day. Each time I open it up, I pay attention to different details: the quality of the light filtering […]

Finally, DIS

After a few years of submitting papers to HCI venues and learning how to cope with rejection after rejection after rejection*, I finally managed to get one accepted at ACM Designing Interactive Systems (DIS) 2017. It’s a full paper, and it’s the outcome of a collaboration with Erik Stolterman. Here’s the abstract: What are big […]

Questions Designers Ask

We can probably all agree that questions matter in designing. I’m a firm believer (along with many others) that ambiguity is a key characteristic of design problems, which means that posing good questions to clients isn’t just important. It’s essential. It’s these good questions that will bring clarity to the problem and help designers make […]

Summer Research Projects

The academic year is over, and after having taken a few days off, today is the day I launch into several really exciting and interesting projects. Following are summaries of each major project. Hopefully, writing about each of them on the blog throughout the summer will provide (1) a modicum of accountability to the anonymous […]

Writing | Quality as a Function of Utility

Everybody writes. Emails, blogs, papers, journal articles, book chapters, theses, dissertations, books… So at the draft stage of writing, how do you know enough is enough? This question popped into my head today as I was sending a draft of a section of a paper to my co-author. I wrote to him via email something […]