How early maps and our own mental maps can shape the design of our physical and digital worlds.

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The City of the Captive Globe (1972) from “Delirious New York”

We use cartography to guide us daily. We see maps everywhere in current technology, whether in our phone, car dashboard, or embedded in a website. …


The story of urban freight and its path to a more connected future

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Traffic is an easy thing to complain about. So is a late train. Commuting, running errands, visiting friends and places — so much of our day is spent moving from point A to B. Our cities are made up of constantly circulating things, likened by Jane Jacobs to an “intricate ballet” in her book The Death and Life of Great American Cities from 1963.

When these dance routines fall out of rhythm, they result in more than complaining. Congestion creates costly and environmentally-taxing inefficiencies and even hazards. The problems leak into all modes of transportation: streets, parking, mass transit, and even flexible transit options like micro-transit, bikes, and scooters. …


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Why looking at buildings instead of screens refreshed my UX design thinking

I’m always intrigued by anything that delivers a great experience. I left the world of architecture behind to pursue User Experience design. Yet, what I learned designing built environments continues to surprise me with relevance. Lately especially, I’ve been spending less time looking at my phone and more time observing the designed spaces I move through. It hit me that my career change was mostly in title and not in thinking.

Architects are User Experience Designers. In fact, they’re the original UX thinkers.

Despite being a different medium of interaction, designing the experience of physical space has a lot in common with digital space. …


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The scary world of Abstract Thought in Pixar’s ‘Inside Out.’

Many designers fear criticism. But the fact is criticism breeds productivity and even creativity.

When I was in architecture school, I found the process of studio courses so abrasive. We’d come in twice a week to stand up in front of the class and show the work we slaved over. It would often get totally ripped apart by our professor, sometimes even by professionals in the field who played guest critics. …


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Everyone is part of multiple communities: from the largest scale of a globally-connected social network, to the scale of a city, neighborhood, school, down to the micro-scale of groups of friends and family. Technology largely targets the largest and the smallest scales. It assumes that the middle stuff just gets figured out. Or you could always just make a group on Facebook — oddly, this is one of the only real-time platforms for intermediate-scaled communities to find identity and interaction.

Original concepts for social networks weren’t to create clinginess or a feeling of intrusion — they were meant to create digital community, a feeling of inclusion. Their goals were noble (at least I’d like to believe). The problem to me is creating a “community” with an environment that is 1) self-indulgent and 2) detached, intangible, and mostly irrelevant to daily life and surroundings. …

About

Stephanie Golik

Product Design Manager at Cruise. Prev Head of Product & UX at Mapfit (acq by Foursquare). Building Huddle. Miami-native

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