Hi, I’m Brian Dys — a photographer from the inside looking out · a composer entangled in electronic music · a UX designer · a spouse, a parent, & everything in between.
You’re on mute
A related experience that I had with regard to the oh-so-important “mute” button: so, there was this big presentation for a big local banking client wherein I would present this white-labeled web app mock-ups to the stakeholders. And I was on mute.
However, no matter how I set the visual state of the WebEx button, I was still on mute. Tinkering on the audio settings did not save me from the awkward silence of everyone in the call.
It ended up that I asked a colleague to save the day and present the designs while I became the slide switcher.
Right after the call, I noticed that a button on my keyboard was lit. Yep, it was the mute button and it was active. WebEx failed to deactivate it. What a learning experience in the expense of users!
The truth is
Sure, truth is subjective. We, humans, when we go out of our heads and into the world, we must share a common truth — the same things that we believe to be true — that will hold its ground for an indefinite time.
In user interface design, there’s this thing that we call “single source of truth”. It is a design artifact that everyone refers to when needed. For example, what is the single source of truth for our brand color red?
Surely, if that red’s color value exists in one designer’s safekeeping, they might have missed (whether they missed the news entirely or missed updating their own instance) that the branding department have already updated the shade of the red which they also have in their safekeeping.
Then we can surmise that the benefit of having a single source of truth for the color red boils down to efficiency. Efficiency of maintaining only one instance (works well in the digital world) and efficiency of communications because everyone trusts that the instance is aligned with everyone.
Oh, yeah, the reading list
- State-Switch Controls: The Infamous Case of the “Mute” Button
- In search of the truth, and a song…
- On compromise in product design
- The Psychology of Misinformation During the 2020 U.S. Elections
- The hermeneutic circle: a key to critical reading
- Daniel Ek on The Observer Effect
This comes back to how you view your role as a leader. My job is to try to be value-add. If you think about a pyramid, there’s a fellow Swede who ran SAS, Scandinavian Airlines, who said the right way to think about leadership is you’re not at the top of the pyramid. You should invert the pyramid and envision yourself as the guy at the bottom. You are there to enable all the work being done. That’s my mental image of what I’m here to do at Spotify.Daniel Ek
- A Personal Interface
- Being intentional about your career decisions — Rachel Inman
Taking on reports is a serious responsibility. I’ll be responsible for the careers of other people! If and when I do become a manager, I want to do a kick-ass job at it. I want to be there for my reports and support them in every way I can.Rachel Inman
- How to listen — really listen — to someone you don’t agree with
- Survivorship bias: when failure gets forgotten
- Why Naval Ravikant Thinks Remote Work Is The Future
- Time is not a measure of productivity
- Microsoft will allow employees to stay remote permanently
- How to Resolve Conflicts with a Remote Coworker
- Refine, Remodel, Rebuild: 3 Strategies for Experience Improvement
- Full bleed layout using simple CSS
- The Widening Responsibility for Front-End Developers
- It’s Not Only Women Who Want More Intimacy in Relationships
- Skill Mapping: A Digital Template for Remote Teams
- Ruth Bader Ginsburg’s Advice for Living
What enabled me to take part in the effort to free our daughters and sons to achieve whatever their talents equipped them to accomplish, with no artificial barriers blocking their way? First, a mother who, by her example, made reading a delight and counseled me constantly to “be independent,” able to fend for myself, whatever fortune might have in store for me.Ruth Bader Ginsburg
- Being Smart is Not Enough
- What ‘The Social Dilemma’ misunderstands about social networks
- The power of flexible consistency
Life is chaotic. Things will go wrong. Flexible consistency is about combining proactive planning with reactive adaptation so you can make significant progress over the long-term.Anne-Laure Le Cunff
- UX Designer Career Path: How to Become a UX Designer
- Satisfaction and progress in open-ended work
- The Digital Product Ethics Canvas
But for change to happen, somebody has to make a start somewhere. And whilst a Product Manager, UX Designer or Information Architect might not be the person to ultimately call the shots on product and corporate strategy decisions, they are increasingly often young and morally conscious enough to at least care enough about their users to actually raise the issue and create awareness.Robert Gerlach
- Issue 2: How can junior designers get more experience?
So have some reasonable expectations of yourself and don’t beat yourself up if you’re not good at half of this list. Get really good at the stuff you like and enjoy doing by finding opportunities that let you do those things.Mark Johnson
- How design contributes to toxic individualism, and what can be done about it
- The Economics of the Front-End
- The world needs a tech diet; here is how designers can help
- Large windows and cantilevers animate House on 36th by Beebe Skidmore
- Design resources I recommend
- What the ‘meat paradox’ reveals about moral decision making
We know that poverty causes great suffering, yet instead of sharing our wealth we buy another pair of expensive shoes. We fundamentally disagree with the idea of child labour or adults working under horrible conditions, but keep shopping at discount stores. We stay in the dark, to protect our delicate identities, to maintain the illusion that we are consistent and ethically sensible human beings.Julia Shaw
- Disrespectful Design—Users aren’t stupid or lazy
- Not So Simple
- When Technology Takes Revenge
- Take The ACE Quiz — And Learn What It Does And Doesn’t Mean
- Adjacent skills: how to widen your career perspective