Wabi Sabi in product design

Wai-Sabi in interior design (MC Dean)
  • Our work is never finished, and so always incomplete
  • We try to fail fast
  • We try to limit waste
  • We never release anything that is perfect
  • We try to keep our experiences simple and unencumbered, without losing the humanity in them
  • We strive to keep them subdued and honest
  • The work we do will always evolve and age, and we will work with the downsides of design decisions we made earlier
  • We never do “big upfront design”, so our worldview is ever-changing and intuitive
  • Our emphasis is always on working code and not on beautiful looking documentation. In this sense each artefact is one of a kind
  • We know that our design will evolve, so we think about the present moment rather than projecting far into the future
  • We work in iterations, in an organic way
  • We adjust to change easily and avoid deliberations
  • If we can do it with less, we do
  • We pay attention to the ordinary (all those habits people develop to deal with bad design)
  • We ensure our software “fails gracefully”
  • Users “wear in” our designs and their relationship with the product changes over time
  • The more people use our designs, the more they connect to them (like your relationship to your email account)
  • We reuse code and design elements where we can
  • The team has a history and a shared knowledge that seeps into the product



Tales from the Atlassian experience design team

Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store
MC Dean

Head of Product @The Mintable | Designer | Maker | Meditator