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By Christoph Ono, builder at GBKS, and tweetable at @GBKS.

Google self-driving car lead dismissive of Tesla-like iterative autonomy approach in first public comments


“Aiming for full autonomy not only reaches the most people, our team believes it’s also the safest approach,” Krafcik told the assembled car folks. “Having this audacious goal was what drew me to the Google self-driving car project.”

But is it a realistic approach? To me, Google's insistence of replacing people seems like an immature perspective of the world. The world is complex, people are complex, and technology is at it's best when it supports and empowers people and reduces complexity and friction around activities people want to do. My not-expert impression is that getting from semi-autonomous vehicles to completely autonomous vehicles is 1,000,000,000,000 times the effort, and believing you can get there instantly just seems a little arrogant. Having audacious goals doesn't mean you can't iterate yourself there. And it's not just yourself, the world needs to accept and adjust to this technology.

4 things I learned from Breaking Smart about the future of work


What is an infinite game? It’s a game you play, forever. Why would you continue playing a game forever? Because your desire to simply enjoy the process of playing the game outweighs any specific result you could achieve from the game itself. The simple joy of creative play is the end you seek, and so you seek for ways to just keep playing.

Harsh empathy


However, that dark side or empathy comes up again and again. Our empathy for customers results in unnecessarily harsh judgements. We judge the people who did the work that preceded us, the people that run the companies we work for, the people that we work with on a day to day basis.

I was once speaking with a friend about a usability review of a website he’d worked on over a number of years. It was clear that he felt the whole thing was a waste of time. It turns out the problem was that the review contained comments along the lines of “Clearly, no consideration has been given to…”, “It appears that no one has thought about…”, “Not sure what the aim was here.” These comments were certainly coming from the right place: empathy for the customer, but the end result of these comments was that nothing in the usability was going to be acted on.

This friend had worked passionately over a number of years to make his company succeed and had been involved in most of the areas of the website which were being commented on. His response to the comments was something along the lines of “F*** them. They clearly don’t understand the challenges and thinking that went into those pages. They didn’t even ask about it. We’re not changing anything.”

Text Me? Ping Me? Communications Overload in the Digital Age


There was a period last summer when my 25-year-old sister, Willa, decided to start communicating with me through comments on the rapper Drake’s Instagram feed. Sometimes it would just be to say hi; other times to inform me of her plans for the weekend, or to relay an amusing anecdote. Once or twice, we carried on full back-and-forth conversations. I didn’t think much of it at the time. Sure, it seemed a little strange that she wouldn’t just text me, but I figured it was just some Millennial Thing I didn’t understand.

Why UX Designers Don’t Need More UX Design Tools


In design process, way too many bottlenecks are related to the process and to the role of human interactions in it. There is still a lot to learn about the methods of effective collaborative design, or working in teams full of highly creative people, or giving and receiving effective feedback.

Moral Design


...the designer should re-evaluate their priories and set goals that respect their users' time and give them as much of it back as possible. By designing for focus instead of consumption you treat the user as a human being rather than a resource to boost the page views or drive sales.



Part of the problem seems to be that nobody these days is content to merely put their dent in the universe. No, they have to fucking own the universe. It’s not enough to be in the market, they have to dominate it. It’s not enough to serve customers, they have to capture them.