Understanding the why behind people's behaviors and designing helpful, ethical interventions.

Illustration of a brain in a light blue background
Illustration of a brain in a light blue background

Designing for behavior change is a challenge that can't be taken for granted. The widely available and increasingly popular techniques for behavior change, habit creation, and "gamification" are powerful additions to the toolbox of any designer who wants to truly understand and help their customers, but if used without proper care and critical thinking, can lead to unethical, dark implementations.

Over the years I’ve collected ideas and tips from cognitive psychology, choice architecture, game design, and refer to this list to kickoff projects, brainstorm, and keep my own biases in check. …


This is a tricky time for foreigners who want to work in the United States. The popular paths to getting a work visa, such as an OPT, H1-B, L1, and even the coveted Green Card are all under progressively tighter restrictions.

Additionally, the US has been losing some of its appeal as a place to call home. The crisis in politics, social justice, and public health continue to spiral down, while the availability of remote jobs is making people reconsider San Francisco or New York's lifestyle and go work remotely from a beach in Barbados instead.

If you're still interested…


High-performing technology teams thrive off of user suggestions, feature requests, complaints, and bug reports, yet the standard approaches to gathering this customer-focused evidence have their own sets of challenges. At Petal, we built a new way to gather this feedback that overcomes these challenges and is modular and reusable.

Some common channels for gathering user feedback include net promoter score (NPS), satisfaction surveys, and app store reviews. These are all crucial sources of data but tend to come days later, removed from the user’s real-time experience with the product, ask broad, generic questions, or are hard to categorize and measure…


Most technology companies know that talking to users frequently is a pivotal habit that increases empathy, de-risks projects, and surfaces innovation opportunities. At Petal, where “listen with curiosity” and “our job is never done” are company values, this is particularly important.

In practice, though, scheduling and executing user interviews is messy, time-consuming, and can feel like a burden for teams that are used to moving fast. …


Learning how to make the most of our customers' requests and feedback.

At Nubank, we are lucky to have an engaged and passionate community of users, who submit hundreds of feedback and feature request messages every week through our support channels and social media.

This steady and loyal stream of input is like a gold mine to our lucky product teams. It is rare that such a rich and voluntary source of insight into user’s needs and pains is this readily available.

Managing this information and putting it to good use, though, has been much trickier than we’d imagine. In…


In Part I, we walked through the process of understanding and defining the problem we were aiming to solve. Here, we are going to dive into how we executed the design based on that vision.

Co-design

The first thing we do at Nubank once we have a solid problem definition is what we call a co-design session. We invite people from different squads and chapters to work together, aiming to accomplish the following things:

Let everyone's bad ideas out

After weeks of research, it is inevitable that people dream up and fall in love with their own pet ideas. Each stakeholder…


Adapted from the speech I wrote for the University of São Paulo’s 2015 Classes of Design and Architecture & Urbanism graduation.

I’ll never forget the first class I attended in this building, five years ago. It was History of Art, semester one, taught by professor Agnaldo Farias.

When my colleagues and I got into the classroom, each found a Sonho de Valsa (‘Dreams of Waltz,’ a Brazilian popular truffle chocolate) on top of our desks.

Sonho de Valsa, a gift from our first teacher Agnaldo Farias

Agnaldo, in his uniquely poetic way, started the class stating that this small chocolate, which is just a cheap, ordinary, and taken-for-granted object in most…


A critique of Medium’s new clapping interaction

When I first entered Medium.com, I was in awe.

Someone had finally found a graceful way to translate long-form text, my favorite media (and the most important for humankind) from the analogue world into the digital world.

This translation is one of the most fundamental and hard design challenges of the digital times, and Medium’s approach was the first that felt entirely fit to me. The generous, white-spaced layout and typography, for example, is a masterpiece. …


How we’re making user research more frequent, structured, and transparent at Nubank.

Here at Nubank, it’s extremely important that we keep ourselves fine tuned to our users’ minds and emotions. After all, each aspect of their financial lives is a very personal, delicate matter, extremely rich in details and heterogeneous behavioral patterns. When building for millions of diverse users, qualitative research is the tool to help us keep an empathy window opened so we can design for realities, demographics, and pains that are different from our own.

Nonetheless, as in most companies similar in size and age, there’s no team…


Nubank has been growing from living-room sized startup to a much larger and complex organization in the last three years. This growth has impacted many teams, and design is no exception.

To help us navigate this fast-paced transformation, our team started exploring ways to better define and monitor what we believe design should be at Nubank, regardless of scale, direction, external opinions or trends. One of these measures was to get together and write down our own set of design principles.

Inspiration

Dieter Rams

Design principles are not new. Dieter Rams’ famous 10 principles of good design, formulated during the seventies, was useful…

Lucas Neumann

Staff Product Designer @ Twitter — http://lucasn.com

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