Pivots and Mysteries

The approach ignores the magic and the soul. I understand the value of data and a rational approach to things like engineering. I would like someone who is designing an airplane to use a rational, data-driven, scientific, rigorous approach to understand how much weight that plane can hold. But in the same example, we find an obvious illustration of what happens when we only use an analytical approach. Flying sucks, and it sucks because it’s been engineered to death. Using Google is starting to be a lot like flying, probably because it’s being engineered to death. An emotional approach has value, because it provides things that are unexpected, sensual, poetic, and things that feel magical.

A/B Testing Ourselves To Death | Austin Center for Design

While I'm on the subject of EQ and IQ, this captures what I mean perfectly. The thing about engineering in general is that, when it comes to interfacing with real-world phenomena, we are creating models - effectively minimizing the guesswork of the physical world into something that works as a reasonable heuristic for behavior of manufactured artifacts. 

I hear too often about designing products, the idea that the virtual world allows us to shed some of these constraints, as code is a unique thing in that the production environment is the same as the idealized world. This may be true, but, the minute we begin to interface with humans, we face a problem that requires heuristics and mystery. 

This is all well and good... until we realize that anytime we find ourselves innovating, there is no algorithm, and probably not a heuristic either. 

So, pivots are a curious thing. The problem with pivots is that we can't measure everything. Emotion is not measurable. But even left with the things we can measure, we don't know what to measure (i.e., what counts) - and figuring out where to look is part of this process. And to figure out where to look, we have to watch and observe something for long enough to really gain some new knowledge from it.