No occasion required

A couple of weeks ago. Lyndal surprised me with a little gift. It's a "now playing" stand to hold my record covers. It might seem like a small gesture, but it gives me so much pleasure every time I glance over at the stereo.

Now, I play music and I think of how lucky we are to have each other. Everyone should have someone in their life who gives gifts for no occasion rather than gifting out of a sense of obligation.

*Planetarium* – Sufjan Stevens, Bryce Dessner, Nico Muhly and James McAlister
*Tallulah* – The Go-Betweens

User experience is about real life

His final note, filled with anger toward Robinhood, says that he had “no clue” what he was doing.

Source: Forbes "20-Year-Old Robinhood Customer Dies By Suicide After Seeing A $730,000 Negative Balance"

There's a lot of talk around about having to prove the value of good user experience. The short answer is that it can save lives.

The way we convey messages to and interact with the people who choose to use the things we create: that's our responsibility. But saving lives is a goalie's curse in the job of experience design. In the goalie's curse, your job is only recognised for its value when you fail.

The story of this young man is tragic. His pain possibly could have been avoided by targeting stress cases.

Deaths like this are the result of many levels of negligence. Pledging major changes is not good enough. Immediate action is what is required: Immediate action at the cost of the company that can cause deaths.

Robinhood's response is not good enough. They are committing to… considering additional criteria and education for customers. We see language of inaction like this all the time. A tragedy caused by inaction is met with the promise to think about future action.

That is not good enough.

Take immediate action. What can you do today that will stop this happening tomorrow? Ignore the financial cost and take responsibility for your mistakes.

This is not just something that one company needs to do. Every single company that provides similar services should do the same.

Until that happens, ex post facto apologies and decisions to consider a change in action should be considered admissions of guilt of negligence.

Good designers should always be thinking about what damage can come from the things we're building. Everyone in a business who makes a decision that affects others can be considered a designer for this purpose.

It’s the perfect apostrophe, Charlie Brown

I wanted to start a new writing project, so of course, what I needed to do was:

Actually, all I needed to do was sit down with a pen and paper.

This is a classic case of Merlin Mann’s "perfect apostrophe" effect.

In fact, as I’m writing this, I’m procrastinating as "an experiment" to see about writing in Editorial and sending it to the WordPress iOS app.

My ability to delay work with important tasks is a monkeys paw (maybe I’m using that wrong – Ed.). It gives me the illusion of being productive without actually producing anything valuable.

In writing this piece alone I've created three new Editorial snippets and adjusted the settings on the iOS keyboard.

It's a slow process but I believe it's possible to be more aware of when I'm being productive and when I'm just being busy to avoid the hard thing.

When I first heard the "Perfect Apostrophe", I learnt that I wasn't the only one. The phrase became a shortcut in my lexicon.

But enough about that. I should probably get to writing.