Design, Life &

Zelda is back

It’s here. It is really here. I’m so excited!


I have been sending Teenage Engineering’s new “TP–7 Field Recorder” to a bunch of people today. My friend Phil reminded me that I could blog about such products. My guess is that he was annoyed that I’m sending him unsolicited stuff like this ALL THE TIME. But still, what a great idea! I’m doing it right now!

To be honest I would absolutely love to own such a recorder. It’s absolutely beautiful. But I have a bit of a hard time to justify 1500 Euros for a purchase that I have very, very few use-cases for (I could start a podcast! I could use it pretentiously in user interviews! I could capture all my thoughts!). But at least I have some pretend use-cases! Since most of Teenage Engineering’s products are aimed at musicians I normally don’t even have a chance to pretend.

So yeah, let me dream a bit.

Media Stats, Week 18

Augmented Thinking

There’s an ongoing trend pushing towards continuous consumption of shorter, mind-melting content. Have a few minutes? Stare at people putting on makeup on TikTok. Winding down for sleep? A perfect time to doomscroll 180-character hot takes on Twitter. Most of the products I’ve seen built with LLMs push us further down this road: why write words when an AI can write that article for you? Why think when AI can write your code? (…)

I believe the real game changers are going to have very little to do with plain content generation. Let’s build tools that offer suggestions to help us gain clarity in our thinking, let us sculpt prose like clay by manipulating geometry in the latent space (…).

Lots of great observations and ideas in this post. The point of AI making it too easy to simply turn off your brain strikes me as very relevant. Yes, we totally should offload rote, mindless tasks to an AI. But the AI shouldn’t do the thinking for us – it should augment it; making us better at it.

Media Stats, Week 17

The messiest state

“It isn’t good enough for our systems to be capable of beautifully perfect organizations; we will find their messiest allowable state at some point.”

I love that term: The “messiest allowable state”.

Thinking about the perfect user journey is often a joy – even if we throw in fixes for common pitfalls. It’s just so easy to be wrapped up in imagining how everything clicks together and how the user will just flow through the experience that we have layed out for them.

Reality is often different. We are dealing with humans after all: We’re in a rush. Not reading carefully. Just wanting work to be over. Thinking about the “messiest allowable state” for our systems accounts for that in a way that is so much more evokative to me then simply calling it “edge cases”. It puts the actual humans who interact with the machine back at the center – with all the messiness that comes with that.

Sterile Art

“(…) In fact, we should be living in a golden age for wild, rebellious, and subversive art. Finally, there are conventions, linguistic regulations, prohibition signs, the right morality and customs, that can be violated - and as bearers of the moral of progress, a Justemilieu, a public of the righteous and well-intentioned, who are also willingly provoked. It really couldn’t be any better!”

But, spoiler: It’s not happening.

Very good article that perfectly sums up the current cultural enviroment, in my opinion.

Sparrow Solitaire for Playdate

BUT: I want to spend more time with this cute device. And the final release of Sparrow Solitaire seems like a great excuse to do just that.

Citizen Sleeper

I just finished playing Citizen Sleeper. Wow - what a game! A masterclass in delivering great punches with so little fanfare: After all, it’s „just“ a text adventure, with some dice mechanics and a bit of RPG progression thrown in. On paper there is not much of a game here. But, whoof… nothing could be further from the truth.

So much of the game comes to live in your mind: When the amazing art, the great writing, the perfectly tuned soundtrack and the interplay of mechanics and story effortlessly click into place to manifest as real tension, anxiety, hope, belonging… It’s enthralling.

I don’t want to dive into the story, or tell you all the cool, wonderful, or sad things that happen. I just urge you to discover them for yourself.

Quick Note

At the Musée Unterlinden.