(This was written as part of IxDwriting at Fjord New York and shared within the Fjord USA team)

Earlier this month, I attended An Event Apart, a web design conference in SF, and wanted to share what i have learned. In general, it feels that ‘Mobile first’ is not spread across the world as I thought. At Fjord, it’s not even a question, but many speakers had to emphasize on why mobile should be the first touchpoint to be considered. So yay for being ahead of the game. Also, some sessions were too technical (CSS tricks that only works on certain browsers, for example), but some sessions were about design principles, approaches and processes.

My favorite talk was ‘How designers destroyed the world’ by Mike Monteiro, the author of ‘Design Is a Job’ (Brian put this on the shelve, if you haven’t seen), who talked about responsibilities of designers, being able to to predict consequences of design and call out when things are broken even when the project left your hand.

His speech began with a broken world story of Bobbi Duncan, a 23 yrs old lesbian college student, who had been managing the privacy settings on Facebook very carefully so that her conservative father cannot discover her sexual identity. On campus, she joined Queer Chorus and the president of the group added her on Facebook without her permission. Then Facebook automatically posts it on the wall to all her friends including her father which resulted in severe damage on her relationship with her father. (Original story from WSJ. “When the most personal secrets get outed on Facebook”)

From this story, he questioned about why it happened, and how Facebook is designed in a way that the group mechanics override the personal privacy settings. Not because they didn’t know about it, but because no one cared for various reasons. Then he continues..

Design is not how it looks. (Sure.)
Design is not how it works. (Then what?)
Design is how it affects.

So let’s care what we do and be proud of what we create.
(and then he threw his mic to the stage floor and step down.)

Later I found his entire speech online. This will be much more interesting that my summary. So enjoy!