· 3 min read

Empathy with blinders

A brief warning about the corporatization of human-centered design.

· 15 min read

Growth mindset gone astray

This is a story about why “coming out” is such a terrible misnomer, and also a story about stories, game theory, changing minds, and how we humans might unravel the mess we’ve made.

· 1 min read

Art on the BART: My Snapchat finger painting experiment

Last month, I challenged myself to create one drawing per day during my 15-minute commute. I turned to an unlikely medium: Snapchat. There’s something inspiring about its constraints. A drawing tool. A color picker. 4.7 inches of screen. A few emojis and stickers. It’s the anti-Photoshop. What could go wrong?

· 4 min read

Keeping in touch

Eight thought experiments on the nature of digital communication.

· 7 min read

What I learned as an intern at Uber

No class could have prepared me for what it’s like to be a designer at a multi-billion dollar startup. The Uber Design team taught me a lot about why the company is so successful and how to create great products for a global audience.

· 5 min read

What’s really going on at Yale

By now, you’ve probably seen the video of a Yale student yelling at a professor, the Facebook post about a “white girls only” party, or the email about offensive Halloween costumes. Unfortunately, the short YouTube clips and articles I’ve seen don’t even come close to painting an accurate picture of what’s happening at Yale. I’m a senior here, and I’ve experienced the controversy firsthand over the past week (and years). I want to tell a more complete story and set a few facts straight.

· 2 min read

Why ‘digital’ feels dated

They call my generation digital natives, but the word “digital” is starting to feel very dated to me in most contexts. I think I’ve finally figured out why.

· 1 min read

Two questions on the future of design

Can a web design be as timeless as a book design or a piece of artwork? We revere the centuries-old Gutenberg Bible and the Mona Lisa. But we laugh at web designs that are only a few years old. Will the craft of web design be subject to the whims of ever-changing trends and fashion and style? What would it take to make a web design timeless? The foundational principles of graphic design certainly haven’t changed in the last twenty years, so why are there so few websites that have stood the test of time, aesthetically?

What will mobile OS designers steal from wearable OS designers? Many of the latest developments in Mac OS X were clearly inspired by iOS. New form factors free designers from established ways of thinking. The shift to mobile spawned interesting new interaction ideas, which were then brought to the desktop. It will be fascinating to see how wearable OS design informs the next generation of mobile OS design.

· 9 min read

Q&A with Enrique Allen, co-founder of Designer Fund

Designer Fund invests in design entrepreneurs who are solving problems in markets that traditionally lack design innovation — from healthcare, to education, to energy. Allen and his team also run Bridge, a design education program that connects experienced designers with top tier companies. I sat down with him at Designer Fund in San Francisco’s SOMA neighborhood to learn more.

· 9 min read

Strangers, but not that strange

A profile of Ankit Shah—the founder of an organization called Tea With Strangers. Though some might peg Tea With Strangers as an organization, Ankit prefers to call it a movement. The idea is simple: a website that allows people to sign up to get tea with five strangers, one of whom is a “host” that gently guides the conversation.