Products and services are designed to “disrupt” market sectors (a.k.a. bringing to market things no one really needs) more than to solve actual problems, especially those problems experienced by what the writer C. Z. Nnaemeka has described as “the unexotic underclass” — single mothers, the white rural poor, veterans, out-of-work Americans over 50 — who, she explains, have the “misfortune of being insufficiently interesting.”
If the most fundamental definition of design is to solve problems, why are so many people devoting so much energy to solving problems that don’t really exist? How can we get more people to look beyond their own lived experience?
I rely less and less on social media, and more and more on direct, genuine conversations with others also seeking connection, reflection and revelation. I may appear, from the outside, to be becoming quieter and quieter, and I am. What may not be readily apparent yet is that becoming quieter is how I’m learning to make my words matter. Though we spill them around rather carelessly these days, words do matter. In the future, I’ll be using them purposefully, with context and weight. And I’ll be listening, quietly, for the words said back to me that carry the same meaning.
via Jen Myers
Heather Chaplin articulates what I’ve been thinking about for a long time:
You can think about design as audience engagement. Designers always start by asking who they are designing for and why. So when we think about audience engagement and wanting to know our audience, design as a discipline can really help us. I also think about design as new product development: Nobody knows how people will consume news as we move forward. What might it look like, and what are the newspapers of the future? Design processes can help us come up with that.
via Nieman Lab
There is a magic that is potent beyond human understanding when someone in a position of power extends him or herself on your behalf, based on nothing more that a belief in your potential. It lights a fire that would take a hurricane to extinguish.
This shows very clearly why it’s so essential that we have nonprofit, public media likeFrontline, PBS, and WGBH that don’t have billions of dollars riding on what they’re reporting on.
“Journalists have the great blessing of being able to link disparate subjects, to bring undeservedly obscure information and knowledge to public attention, and to ask important questions that other people aren’t asking.”