Selected Talks and Interviews

Here are a few talks and interviews.

Interview on
Podcast, 2018

Topics include:

  • How to think about strategy for design
  • How we ship every six weeks at Basecamp
  • Supply vs demand thinking
  • Affordances and actions
  • Option value of UI real estate
  • How design is like a network
  • Making something kind of bad but really useful
  • The effects of individual changes on the larger whole

Teaching Product Decomposition at Mind the Product
San Francisco, 2015

Topics include:

  • A shorthand for sketching the affordances and flows the product should provide
  • How to break the work into orthogonal mini projects
  • Integrating the team around one part to get it "done" so you can stop worrying about it, and repeating that process

Live sketching and coding to show Basecamp's design process
Future of Web Design, London, 2010

Live demo includes:

  • Thinking through a product as a Rails model
  • Roughing affordances in with real code before styling much
  • Starting with a simpler idea for a feature that could be more complex
  • Cheaply experimenting with style by screenshotting the coded version and then making changes in code

Designing with Forces - On Christopher Alexander and UI Design
The School of Visual Arts, New York City, 2010

Topics include:

  • Using Alexander's form/context definitions to set a novel boundary on the problem
  • The notion of forces as requirements coming from outside the boundary of the form that you're designing
  • Resolving forces with a wireframe-level design concept
  • Examples from real design decisions we made while building the first version of Highrise