You are in your mid-twenties and your vision is 20/20 or better. You are not color blind and all the devices you own have a ‘retina’ screen. You are standing in a major city and your internet is fast.
Your vision isn’t 20/20 anymore, just like 65% of the population, it’s worse than that. Like 4.25% of people on the planet you are color blind. You are now 1 in 10. You are dyslexic. Your phone is 3 years old. You can’t afford a new one. Your data plan caps out at 3g and 1 gigabyte a month. The internet connection where you spend most of your time is not what you’d like it to be.
You can’t see at all. You use a computer with a screen reader. A mouse is mostly useless to you. You use your keyboard to navigate around interfaces and sites.
If you woke up tomorrow without knowing what your life would be like – and you needed to build a new internet for everyone. What would you think about? What would your priorities be? What problems would you try to solve?
American philosopher John Rawls (1921–2002) had a lot of mind-crushing ideas, but perhaps the most significant was his concept of “the veil of ignorance.” It best applies to the creation of social contracts. …
The Morality of Designing
I’m a designer. I am not here to focus on making things pretty. I’m here to make things work.
I am a designer because I want to solve problems. I want people to be less frustrated when they use technology. I want to make their lives easier. I don’t want to make anyones life more difficult. These two sentiments sound the same, but they are not. I find both are important to consider.
When I sit down to design things I try to put on the veil of ignorance. I imagine a world where I am not who I am right now. And I think about all the things that could possibly frustrate me. Then I think some more.