What a great quote. It’s great to look at data when growing a business and discovering trends in your customers. Measure everything, then decipher the trends.

We first featured photographer Matthew Albanese’s Strange Worlds project back in 2010, not too long after the project’s inception. His amazing images appear to show beautiful outdoor scenes, but were actually shot on a tabletop in his studio. He creates extremely detailed dioramas that take months to complete, and then uses various photographic techniques to make the scene look like the real world. It’s like the opposite of using tilt-shift lenses to turn the world into a miniature model.

This dude’s work is out of this world. The meticulousness and the complexity of each scene is something to be admired. #respect.

The cult of the artisan is ensconced in contemporary urban American culture. This is the ideal of a person who can handcraft a pair of jeans or a necktie, conscious of the most minute details of fabric, workmanship and authenticity. 

This is just an amazing read. It totally brings me back to my lovely memories of visiting Japan and being so amazed at how their culture truly embraced the life of the artisan.  I walked around every city in awe of all of the smallest of details.

Life needs to be full of moments like these.

But every design has its day of reckoning. And that reckoning is with the people you design for. If the change you’re introducing is better for them—if it helps them do the things they want to do more easily, if it’s more loved—then your design has succeeded. If it does not achieve these things, then it’s time to roll up your sleeves, learn which of your assumptions were wrong, and get to fixing.

Here’s what we learned: the design we tested a year ago wasn’t better for the majority of people.

Remember that article that I posted earlier?  This one owns that.

The following is an excerpt from the article.

When I first saw the reverted News Feed, I remembered a quote I wrote down several months ago after overhearing a supposed Facebook employee complaining in a San Francisco coffee shop:

We’re blind. It doesn’t matter what any individual person thinks about something new. Everything must be tested. It’s feature echolocation: we throw out an idea, and when the data comes back we look at the numbers. Whatever goes up, that’s what we do. We are slaves to the numbers. We don’t operate around innovation. We only optimize. We do what goes up.

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I feel that the end user comes first in design.  But sometimes business decisions make it hard for you to give them the best experience possible.  

If you choose to optimize the best for the user experience, then all websites across the Internet would not have any ad units and tv shows would not have any commercials.  

However, the business still needs to make money.  Servers cost money; office space is expensive; and employees have salaries.

There’s a balance to the world. And finding that balance is what matters most. You can’t brazenly choose to skew one way to the complete detriment of the other.

Great design embraces constraints.

This is a good read.