These 5 “rules” were originally published in Issue 10 of Offscreen Magazine and are republished here with permission. The title and the form of the piece was given by the editor as part of a standard feature in the magazine. It is presented here verbatim. It was written in November 2014.

Pretend like you’re a human being

With the possible exception of artists and architects, no one is more full of shit than designers. We can find a way to justify anything. Blah blah blah. That means no matter what you end up with, you can come up with some reason why it’s a good design…


The memo below was sent to the team at Tiny Speck, the makers of Slack, on July 31st, 2013. It had been a little under seven months since development began and was two weeks before the launch of Slack’s ‘Preview Release’. It is presented verbatim, as written (including original pull-quotes), with two exceptions: the removal of an introductory section discussing launch logistics and replacement of a link which pointed to an internal company resource with the equivalent public link.

Build Something People Want

We know that we have built something which is genuinely useful: almost any team which adopts Slack as their central application…

Stewart Butterfield

I'm trying my hardest!

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