John Thackara: Manifesto #12

Articles of association between designers, human beings and technology.

Article 1
We cherish the fact that people are innately curious, playful and creative. We therefore suspect that technology is not going to go away: it’s too much fun.

Article 2
We will deliver value to people – not deliver people to systems. We will give priority to human agency, and will not treat humans as a “factor” in some bigger picture.

Article 3
We will not presume to design your experiences for you – but we will do so with you, if asked.

Article 4
We do not believe in “idiot-proof” technology – because we are not idiots, and neither are you. We will use language with care, and will search for less patronising words than “user” and “consumer”.

Article 5
We will focus on services, not on things. We will not flood the world with pointless devices.

Article 6
We believe that “content” is something you do – not something you are given by a person in a black T-shirt.

Article 7
We will consider material end energy flows in all the systems we design, with the objective of ensuring their impact on the biosphere is neutral. 

Article 8
We will not pretend things are simple when they are complex. We value the fact that by acting inside a system, you will probably improve it.

Article 9
We believe that place matters, and we will look after it.

Article 10
We believe that speed and time matter, too – but that sometimes you need more, and sometimes you need less. We will not fill up all time with content.

Originally published in ICON magazine
Issue 404 | 2007

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