I’m fascinated by a particular beast known as the Design Decision. Like many mythical creatures, you cannot see a Design Decision by looking at it directly. Like microscopic particles, you can only see where they have been, not where they are. You can see the results and consequences of their existence, and must use these clues to divine the nature of the individual beasts.
In heavily built and engineered environments, nearly everything you notice is the result of some number of design decisions. But the most elegant and refined of these creatures are the ones who mostly escape your notice. These are the ones that I like to pursue and catalogue.
Even Business Decisions are design decisions. They’re fun to track as well, as they are usually intangibles that shape other intangibles. Fun!
Sometimes, you can learn about the design decisions directly. I have articles, books and videos about the history of many such decisions, so those decisions are interesting, but well documented. I’m not going to discuss those, since anyone who is interested can find the information about those decisions either by surfing the internet, picking up a book, or just asking me. Instead, I’m going to have some fun speculating about the existence of other design decisions.
I don’t intend to praise or damn these decisions, or the people who made them. I just want to point them out and, when possible, point out potentially better solutions. Like a jaunt through Pirates of the Caribbean, I always find new evidence of design decisions. And with my recent studying of behavioral economics and the sciences, I’m aware of even more stuff.
Let’s get this safari started. First stop: Mount Everest.