In July, I opened the Design & Content Conference with a brand-new talk based on my book with Eric Meyer, Design for Real Life. In it, I go deep on some of the topics that have been keeping me…


Design for Real Life is now on sale! It’s been an honor to write this book with Eric Meyer, and I’m so excited to share it with you. Order your copy from A Book Apart.…


Last month, I gave the most difficult talk I’ve ever given. It’s about something I’ve been thinking a lot about recently: making our content and design work for people who don’t fit our narrow perception of “normal.”…


Back in January, I wrote about personal histories—about the experiences in my past that make me feel vulnerable, that dredge up emotion—and the way those experiences sometimes spill over into tasks and forms online: Every…


This is an article version of the talk I delivered in February at An Event Apart Atlanta. See the slides here. Philadelphia Magic Gardens by Alex Thomson (CC-BY-SA 2.0). The Magic Gardens are one of…


It’s the summer of 2014, and I’m sitting in the consul’s office filling out form after form proving my right to German citizenship: filing notarized birth certificates, declaring my mother’s birthplace, documenting my parents’ marriage.…


It was September in Oregon the first time I ran a mile. Or “the mile,” I should say. I was 11 years old, just recently made aware of how wrong my body and clothes and…


It’s easy to write off empathy for our clients and colleagues as just a way to go soft: a way to talk about feelings instead of the work, to keep things vague, to avoid the…


Last fall, I was thinking a lot about A List Apart, where I’m the editor in chief. It had been a big year for us: we’d launched a new design at the start of 2013,…


You know those childhood memories that are burned so deep you can remember the shirt you were wearing, or the way the grass smelled? I’ve got a few: The Time I Fell Off My Bike Riding…