Lessons from Ramps

Ramps are a sign that winter has ended and soon, other fresh produce will be available. But these particular onion relatives also have a lot to teach about life, growth, and sustainability.

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John BergholzS4DC
The Digital Robber Barons

Monopolies of the past were obvious. Their resources were mostly tangible. AT&T controlled all the phone lines, railroad companies had exclusive ownership of the rails; big banks controlled the money. Today, the goods and services at stake are more subtle: bandwidth vis a vis the internet, personal data vis a vis social media, and facts/truth vis a vis the news. And while there are plenty of examples of tech companies that look like monopolies, it doesn’t get much more obvious than Amazon.

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Shifting Perspectives for Effective Problem Solving

Hard problems are hard. That’s what makes them hard. We face obstacles which seem insurmountable throughout our lives. Whether it’s a tightly-sealed jar, complex life situation, or multi-nodal UX design issue, we’ve all been in a position where the solution to our problem is opaque, incomplete, or seemingly nonexistent. Sometimes there is no solution. However, more often than not, changing your perspective on a problem gives you a better chance of solving it.

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Designers Don’t Fight Back

‘Tis the season for new year’s predictions, especially in the field of ‘design.’ We’ve been reading them all week, from the likes of Design.Co and Fast Company. As with any other year, there’s no shortage. What is a bit unusual in this go-’round is the commonality in theme and tone. Writers and respondents are more focused on dark patterns, improving the human condition, and making the world a better place… through design. Politics aside, designers seem to be awakening to the fact that they are complicit unless they actively aren’t.

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