Sustainable UX: A design approach to reducing carbon emissions

1. Introduction to Internet Pollution

“Please consider the environment before printing this email”.

You have probably seen this line at the bottom of an email before. By now it’s widely known that you should pay attention to what you print to reduce your carbon footprint. But how much does it cost sending this email in the first place?

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What few people realise is that there is also something called digital pollution. When we send emails we are using computational energy; this energy usage increases our carbon footprint and can have a big impact in the long run. …


A critical review of Uber’s move into payments

Let’s talk money

Uber everything? It sure as hell looks like that with Uber’s move into payments. Announcing Uber Money, the company seeks to implement new financial products and technologies within the Uber network.

While Uber’s press release mostly focuses on a couple of new product features, there is more than meets the eye behind this move into financial products. “The first product features are only the beginning”, as the Head of Uber Money, Peter Hazlehurst said: “We’re continuing to expand our suite of financial products”.

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Uber’s move into money is important to examine. It stands for a bigger shift in which tech…


I need a system for my curiosities

A good friend of mine poked me with an interesting question: “What is your strategy for picking what book to read first?”

I thought about the question for a while and had to conclude; I don’t read and learn with a predefined plan.

Of course, it’s not completely blindfold. I don’t pick the first book I see on a shelf in a bookstore. Generally speaking, I follow the advice of people I admire online. From some people, I can follow their reading advice blindly because I know they have the same taste as me. If friends tell me to read…


What is it you do to learn that is comparable to an Olympian preparing for gold?

If you don’t know the answer to that one, maybe you are doing something wrong or not doing enough. Or maybe you are not very ambitious?

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I’m not talking about sports. I am pretty sure this addresses you since you are reading this piece. But you don’t have to pop on your running shoes just yet. How do you improve yourself as a knowledge worker?

“Athletes train. Musicians train. Performers train. But knowledge workers don’t.” — David Perell

Inspired by Tyler Cowen and in response to David Perell’s post about How You Should Learn Like An Athlete, this is my…


Democrats vs Republicans, Catalonia vs Spain, how to eliminate cross-group prejudice?

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Across the world, there are numerous examples of groups of people that are in conflict. Often, there is no clear reason why these people are fighting other than some arbitrary border or prejudice based on certain cultural traits and rituals or difference in opinion and value. Take Catalonia, for the past decades they are fighting for the independence of Spain. Especially in the last years, the discussion is heating up. They are resulting in rebellions, protests, and contra reactions of the Spanish government. The other example is the difference between democrats and republicans in the US. Often they are aligned…


Design goes beyond a pixel perfect user experience. I asked myself the question: “Can I apply design thinking to my own life?”. This time part 5 about reviewing your life.

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Review

Starting with all the different elements is one thing. But you can’t just wait and watch everything unfold the way you want. You will need a systematic approach to review and check on everything. You’ll be making small changes to your system, so it becomes the best it can be.

Doing is daily, planning is longterm. It is important to look ahead. A couple of years ago I read the book ‘Seven Habits of Highly Effective People’ from Sean Covey. The second habit of the book is “Begin with the end in mind”. Covey makes the distinction between mental first…


Design goes beyond a pixel perfect user experience. I asked myself the question: “Can I apply design thinking to my own life?”. Today part 4

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Designing the day

Agenda everything

Designing your life is all about time management, planning and picking the right goals. I come to believe that your agenda should have a central role in this. If you live from your agenda, you can manage your time more efficient. Where a to-do list only is giving an overview of your tasks it lacks planning. It doesn’t give you a good perspective of how long tasks take are actually going to take. I have struggled a lot (and still do) with estimating tasks and projects. …


Design goes beyond a pixel perfect user experience. I asked myself the question: “Can I apply design thinking to my own life?”. Today part 3 about the apps I use.

The two most important apps are my to list and notes app. They function as the perfect braindump tool for all thoughts, prompts, and reminders. With these two I can get done 90% of the work. From day to day I will probably only look at my projects. On a weekly basis, I also review my areas to decide what the focus for the next week will be.

Things 3

I use the to-do list app Things as the hub of my life. Things is a beautifully designed to do list app by the team of Cultured Code. It is a bit…


Design goes beyond a pixel perfect user experience. I asked myself the question: “Can I apply design thinking to my own life?”

People are often stunned when they see the organization of the apps and systems I use to manage my life. Understandably, the way I use my apps can be a bit overwhelming. Simultaneously people are also intrigued by the idea to run everything more systematically. They see the apps I use and the way I plan certain things and want to know how I actually do it. With this post, I hope to give a small insight into the way I run my life.

I have been meticulously about setting up my life around a few important pillars. These pillars…


Design goes beyond a pixel perfect user experience. I asked myself the question: “Can I apply design thinking to my own life?”

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Designing my own life

Design goes beyond a pixel perfect user experience. I asked myself the question: “Can I apply design thinking to my own life?”

People are often stunned when they see the organization of the apps and systems I use to manage my life. Understandably, the way I use my apps can be a bit overwhelming. Simultaneously people are also intrigued by the idea to run everything more systematically. They see the apps I use and the way I plan certain things and want to know how I actually do it. …

Kent de Bruin

Designer, writer, entrepreneur. Based in Amsterdam. Writing at kentdebruin.com

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