Getting over Feeling Entitled to Good Design

A lot of people have patterns in their relationships (particularly romantic or familial) that cause them to get upset, bizarrely intensely. These patterns have built up over years of experience pushing each others’ buttons. I’ve done a lot of work on these kinds of patterns over the last few years and have made substantial progress, to the point where I’m no longer particularly worried about getting angry at my parents or partners. Even my younger sister, for the most part. (If she’s reading this, she’s probably saying “CHALLENGE ACCEPTED”)

But I still have a massive class of relationships that need serious work: my relationships with technology.

Most things are poorly designed

I have an eye for design—it’s part of why I went into Systems Design Engineering for undergrad. Being a designer is a great skill to have, for the most part. But it comes with a big drawback: you notice bad design.

And most things, it turns out, are badly designed.

There are reasons for this, of course. Big organizations are hard to coordinate. Points of failure are often hard to foresee.

Entitlement to well-designed products

I came to the realization a few weeks ago that some of my biggest potential growth in the dimension of againstness-y responses is in this domain. I noticed that my defensiveness in social situations is fading broadly—though not gone, not yet—and I was switching more and more to curiosity as a default mode of interaction. My patterns around poorly-designed products, however, seemed as strong as ever.

I found myself realizing that I felt entitled to well-designed products. Honestly, even as I write this, it feels hard to let go of the idea that I am. But I’m not. I’m not entitled to well-designed products. Even when » read the rest of this entry »

A portrait of Malcolm Ocean

I'm Malcolm Ocean.

I'm trying to figure out how humans work so I can help make humanity work. More about me.

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