Approaching Problems Guide

Last edited 25th August 2020

Evergreen Note design


Have you noted why you have decided against a certain plan?

Are the metrics you are measure acquired through looking at reality, or through your choice of tools?

  • Eddington's fish story

What definitions are being used? Are they understood the same way across all involved?

What contexts are the definitions being used in? Can an outsider understand these contexts?

How well do you understand the application as a whole?

  • How well do we as programmers understand the application as a whole? For success, the focus should be the application as system -> the technological implementation. Don’t let the features distract you from the overall essence of the software. “Roam is so much more than backlinks” Career Vision The Art of Doing Science and Engineering: Learning to Learn Loc 951

Are you building a road or a tool?

Current UX focuses on playfulness, detail, and delight while assuming good intentions and trust from all users. There is this idea of removing thought from the users while using the product:

It doesn’t matter how many times I have to click, as long as each click is a mindless, unambiguous choice.

Something can only meet this definition if the user has the cultural context to make the act of using the software mindless and unambiguous.

In order to build software at scale, thought tools such as user stories are used to capture the overarching details of certain users on the given platform. The issue with user stories, and by extension, the challenge of developing software at scale is that these abstractions take away the fundamentally human parts from the people using the software. To create a user story is to take away the unique lived experience of users, designers, and engineers. This abstraction is used because abstracting personal and human details from users makes the software, "more accessible", and "more easily understood" by the largest amount of people. But this also makes the software ripe for abuse.

On Weaponised Design

Technology as a tool rather than infrastructure. You use a road and you use email the same way, both are needed to interact with modern society, but a road does not appear “useful” to you in the way that a tool might be.

Tools for customers vs tools for innovators