Design, Digested 29
14 May 2022 | 10:00 pm

The last design you'll ever make, designing for the autistic community, cautionary tales from cryptoland, the problem with Nielsen Norman Group videos and more.

The last design you’ll ever make

To conserve the resources we have, repairing products to extend their lifespan is critical as there are currently no viable alternatives. How can we design the last product our customers will ever need buy?

🔗 Read the article (on Interaction Magic)

Designing for the autistic community

Cognitive overload, the term created in the context of education to describe that every brain has a limited capacity, is something most of us experience in our daily life. But there is one group that experiences this on a much larger scale — autistic people.

In this guide, I will outline the core principles of designing for autistic people and reducing the cognitive load for everyone who uses digital products. Irina Rusakova

🔗 Read the article (on Medium)

Cautionary tales from cryptoland

While Web3 advocates focus on what the future of the internet could be, skeptics such as Molly White, a software developer and Wikipedia editor, are focused on the very real problems of the here and now. spoke to White over email about what people aren’t hearing about Web3, how blockchain could make internet harassment much worse, and why the whole project might be “an enormous grift that’s pouring lighter fluid on our already-smoldering planet.”

🔗 Read the article (on Harvard Business Review)

The “tender technicians” of Nielsen Norman Group videos

Nielsen Norman Group (NN/g) YouTube content predominantly features young, white or white-presenting, normatively attractive women. The uniform presentation of these women, combined with the unspecific, universalizing script content, compromises their expertise and is objectifying. This treatment, combined with a lack of diversity in featured employees, undercuts NN/g’s standing as an authoritative resource in the field of user experience (UX).

🔗 Read the article (on Weave)

Covid-19: a tech post-mortem

Two years ago, in the first half of 2020, private companies and governments alike were rolling the dice and betting on tech-solutionism to fight the global spread of SARS‑CoV‑2, better known as COVID19. One of the pillars in the global response has been the roll-out of Apps, which Privacy International have been keeping an eye on since the beginning.

🔗 Read the article (on Privacy International)

Occlusion Grotesque 2022

Occlusion Grotesque is an experimental typeface that is carved into the bark of a tree. As the tree grows, it deforms the letters and outputs new design variations, that are captured annually. The project explores what it means to design with nature and on nature’s terms.

🔗 Read the article (on Bjørn Karmann’s website)

Michał Dyjuk – Cows can smell the scent of death

In his series of haunting images, Michał Dyjuk rethinks photography in an attempt to preserve the memory of a lesser-known tragedy of the 20th century that unfolded in the forests of Augustow, his home in Poland.

The landscape too seems to forget human suffering. Struggle as we might against forgetting, generations change, and tragedies are absorbed into everyday existence. Who remembers the turbulence of war of centuries long past? Do death and pain leave no trace?

🔗 Read the essay (on Lens Culture)


Design, Digested is a newsletter about design, tech, and their implication in our lives. Would you like a preview? Check the newletter archive.

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How I stopped using Mailchimp
6 May 2022 | 7:41 pm

I tell you why and how I stopped using Mailchimp and what I did instead.

I don’t like trackers. When I decided to build my own independent website, I got rid of everything that could tell me who visited it. Furthermore, every link I share on it is UTM1-free. I do it because I also don’t like to track people.

The next natural step was to get rid of Mailchimp. Their new composer had given me headhaches, leaving me less than happy every time I sent out a newsletter. Not activating tracking for opens and clicks didn’t help much, as Mailchimp will keep using the clicks data for abuse mitigation purposes2.

My problem

I needed a way to receive subscriptions, store the subscribers’ addresses and send emails to those addresses. It doesn’t interest me to grow exponentially. I’m glad when people subscribe, but I don’t sell anything. Having a few subscribers that like to read what I write is already a success. Therefore, I don’t need a marketing tool.

The solution

Without looking further away, the solution has always been in front of my eyes: the email. It stores the addresses and can send emails to groups. Email providers might put limits to the number of people in groups, but for now I’m fine using Protonmail. After a few tests I found that the best email client for the job is Thunderbird.

Netlify, my web hosting, comes with built-in form handling. I created a simple subscription form adding a netlify attribute to the <form> tag3. Now I manage it from the site admin panel. Spam is automatically filtered out and I receive notifications every time someone subscribes.

Mailchimp provides a handy archive of past newsletters for people to consult before deciding to subscribe. I recreated it on my website.

What’s ahead

I’m considering using Freelists, a mailing list host that doesn’t use advertisement and doesn’t charge money. More on this if and when I decide to switch.


The entire process took time to setup but it’s rewarding. Every decision is in line with the work I keep doing to discard any attempt to create an online persona that doesn’t reflect who I am. Altough I have a branding and I like design, my newsletters don’t contain images anymore – not even my logo. I appreciate the idea of being light in people’s inboxes, giving more focus to the content.

Reply via email

Design, Digested 28
1 May 2022 | 10:00 pm

Discover the designers misguided concerns about disabled bodies; the future of accessibility standards; the infinite scroll effect; the influence of 80s cult phemon Max Headroom and more.

Disability Dongle

Disability Dongle rhetoric instills in students the value of a quick fix over structural change, thus preventing them from seeking out, participating in, and contributing to existing inquiry.

🔗 Read the article (on Platypus, The CASTAC blog)

Links. They help us navigate from one place to another. But sometimes it’s tricky to know how to write useful link text.

🔗 Read the article (on Platypus, The Big Hack)

The internet has ingrained itself into every aspect of our lives, but there’s one aspect of the digital world that I bet you take for granted. Did you ever notice that many links, specifically hyperlinks, are blue?

🔗 Read the article (on the Mozilla blog)

WCAG 3.0: What you need to know about the future of accessibility standards

WCAG 3.0 will be here soon and it will represent a significant shift in how accessibility is measured. Let’s take a closer look at what’s coming.

🔗 Read the article (on Scribe)

The Business Case for Digital Accessibility

This article examines the rationale for organizations to address accessibility. It includes tangible and intangible benefits, and the risks of not addressing accessibility adequately.

🔗 Read the article (on W3C)

Rediscovering Apple’s Human Interface Guidelines from 1987

1987 was the year that the Macintosh II, Apple’s first Macintosh to be released with a color display (supporting a spectrum of 256 colors), was released. It was also the year Apple published their Human Interface Guidelines.

🔗 Read the article (on Medium)

The Infinite Scroll effect — How design can hack your brain

You might not know what Infinite Scroll is. But you have certainly used it — in a daily basis — as it is everywhere. You finish an episode on Netflix, and the next one starts right away. You watch one Tik Tok video, and the next one pops out before you can quit it. You listen to one song on Spotify — and the next… you already know.

🔗 Read the article (on Medium)

Daily Ethical Design

Suddenly, I realized that the people next to me might be severely impacted by my work.

🔗 Read the article (on A List Apart)

The Digital Ethics Compass

A tool to help companies make the right decisions from a design ethical standpoint.

🔗 Read the article (on Danish Design Center)

Celebrating 17 years of Git

Seventeen years ago, the Linux community embraced Git as its universal open source version control solution.

🔗 Read the article (on GitLab)

Belgium’s new passport celebrates the country’s comic book heroes

The Belgian government has revealed a new passport, which honours of the “jewels” of the country’s culture: comic strips.

🔗 Read the article (on Design Week)

The Enduring Legacy of ’80s Cult Phenom Max Headroom

Exploring the maximum influence of a dystopian character ahead of his time, not to mention his tech.

🔗 Read the article (on AIGA – Eye on Design Magazine)


Design, Digested is a newsletter about design, tech, and their implication in our lives. Would you like a preview? Check the newletter archive.

Subscribe via RSS or add your email address in the form below to receive new issues in your inbox.

By subscribing, you acknowledge that your information will be transferred to Silvia Maggi Design. Learn more.

Reply via email

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