Over my career, I’ve had a few dumpster fire interviews, but I’ve only had one interview during an actual dumpster fire.

As the photo below can confirm, this isn’t a joke. This actually happened.

View from my old apartment during one of protest nights on Capitol Hill.

This was the scene outside my window in Seattle on September 23rd. Inside, I’m trying to…

Don’t forget the pieces you don’t see.

Quarantine has me slightly more…vexed? At the various states of bad User Experience/Interaction patterns I continually run into. So, rather than just internalize it, I thought it could be good to write about it and explain how it could be improved.

Partially case study, partially rant with teaching moments.


A big aspect of design are the mentors and people to look up to. Their work is inspiring and shape the movement of design.

I couldn’t decide between Tufte or Bostock for a first one as they’re both incredibly connected to the current state of good Data-Visualization. Tufte is more…

Slightly simple this week, just a link to Kurzgesagt.

This specific video in the Kurzgesagt series touches on some of the potential reasons why we find things aesthetically pleasing. In general the series is a prime example of illustration used for information and educational use. There’s a ton more that are just interesting but this one touched on Design the best. This series really exemplifies what we hope for in the usage of Illustration for getting across information though.

Another concept from visual design that on one hand is visual and artistic, on the other is based in clear psychological concepts and rules. Still slightly confused on the proper names/number of them but if you look into “Gestalt” you’ll find a number of topics that cover WHY visual objects…

One of the earliest books I read that related to design was Don Norman’s The Design of Everyday Things.

A weekly (biweekly?) email explaining some of the thoughts and process that go behind design decisions in WpA and Mya.

Type Scales

I came into design from Mechanical Engineering and many of the design decisions I make are based on some technical reasoning. …

Example of Generative Element

I had a slightly convoluted educational pathway into UX/Interaction/Product design. Computer Eng > Mechanical Eng+Tech Comm > Masters in Architecture > F*** that field lets try UX > Love!

But throughout those different jumps I coded. Java, Matlab, C++ for CpE and ME, Python/Processing art-code for Architecture, and then proper…


What you expected it to be more complicated? Architects should understand the basics of concrete. Painters should have at least the beginning understanding of the chemistry of paint. Sculptures should know how rock will cut or fall apart. And Interaction/UX designers should know at least something about how programming creates images/alters the page etc. and the potential that lives within.

Whether you’re going to be a full on “I MADE THE MOST BEAUTIFUL BEZIER CURVE ANIMATION USING CSS, GREENSOCKS, AND VANILLA.JS!!!” or if you’re just going to know you can double check your dev’s work from chrome inspection tools, you really should know vaguely how this whole thing works.

I’d heard about the noun project when they were first doing their kickstarter. It was an intriguing sounding construct, that interesting mix of vaguely sounding frivolous with some long-reaching futuristic implications. …

Michael Senkow

Senior Product Designer / Design Tech Artist

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