Mike Monteiro — Ruined by Design
« Look, I realize Amazon has its own issues, I’m not pretending they aren’t there », dit Monteiro, qui utilise le service d’impression à la demande d’Amazon pour imprimer la couverture qui appelle à la syndicalisation des salariés d’Amazon d’un livre qui critique Amazon. « But it was either get this book in your hands this way now, or Fall of 2020. Or later. The people who need our help can’t wait that long. »
Ces quelques mois n’auraient pourtant pas été de trop : Ruined by design est une collection de chapitres disjoints, qui répètent la même idée — voire la même phrase — une demi-douzaine de fois, plutôt qu’un véritable livre. Oh, le message passe… de la même manière qu’un clou finit par passer une cloison à force de coups de marteau. Monteiro aurait bien eu besoin d’un éditeur pour canaliser sa colère.
Le monde fonctionne exactement comme prévu, p. 9 :
We designed the combustion engine that led to global warming (climate change deniers can just stop reading right now). We designed the guns that kill school children. We designed shitty interfaces to protect our private information. We designed the religions that pitted us against one another. We designed social networks without any way of dealing with abuse or harassment. We designed a financial incentives system that would lead Mark Zuckerberg to assert what’s good for the world isn’t necessarily good for Facebook; and lead Jack Dorsey to believe engagement was a more important metric than safety. Either by action or inaction, through fault or ignorance, we have designed the world to behave exactly as it’s behaving right now. These are our chickens coming home to roost.
Comment et pourquoi, p. 21 :
A designer uses their expertise in the service of others without being a servant. Saying no is a design skill. Asking why is a design skill. Rolling your eyes and staying quiet is not. Asking ourselves why we are making something is an infinitely better question than asking ourselves whether we can make it.
De l’empathie, p. 22 :
What about empathy? Empathy is a pretty word for exclusion. I’ve seen all-male all-white teams taking “empathy workshops” to see how women think. If you want to know how women would use something you’re designing, get a woman on your design team. They’re not extinct. We don’t need to study them. We can hire them!
Ruined by Design comme commentaire de Design for the Real World, p. 30 :
Victor Papanek, who offered us a path toward developing spines in Design for the Real World, referred to designers as gatekeepers. He reminded us of our power, our agency, and our responsibility. He reminded us that labor without counsel is not design. We have a skill-set that people need in order to get things made, and that skill-set includes an inquiring mind and a strong spine. We need to be more than a pair of hands. And we certainly can’t become the hands of unethical men.
De la faillite morale de Twitter, p. 32 :
Twitter saved itself from bankruptcy by allowing fascists to run free and by allowing a seventy-two year-old racist xenophobe to break every single one of its rules because he was bringing them engagement. In 2018, it paid off financially. Twitter finally had its first profitable quarter! Jack Dorsey, who is technically an invertebrate, was vindicated. His strategy of turning a blind eye to harassment and abuse while building a giant bullhorn for outrage and white supremacy had paid off. Wall Street was happy. Shareholders were happy. Investors were happy. But children were in cages, immigrants were terrified, and decent people like Heather Heyer were being murdered by the goons Donald Trump was dog-whistling from that platform.
Le problème de l’excuse de la liberté d’expression, p. 34 :
How is it free speech when it silences so many? I’m all for protecting free speech. Let’s start by amplifying the voices of those who’ve been silenced, not protecting the voices of those who’ve silenced them. A system that protects bullies isn’t a system we should be putting our labor into.
Un argument qui fonctionne aussi avec la compensation carbone. Le moindre mal n’est pas le bien, p. 48 :
I don’t believe in ethical offsets. There’s no way that saving ten percent of the world while destroying ninety percent of it turns into anything close to a net positive.
L’artiste et l’artisan, le vieux débat de la traduction de τέχνη, p. 63 :
The biggest problem, by far, is they confuse solving design problems with personal expression. The vast majority of design programs across the world still live within art schools. Not to shit on art schools—they’re a fine place to learn how to make art; but art has as much in common with design as a lobster has with a carrot cake. In 2019, there is simply no Venn diagram where design schools and art schools overlap.
Twitter comme dépression permanente, p. 123 :
Like about twenty percent of the world, I have to deal with it. (I’m lucky enough to have access to care when I need it.) One of my warning signs is when I can’t tell the difference between a big problem and a small problem. My brain stops prioritizing. Every problem comes at me as exactly the same size. This is depression taking away a major coping mechanism. That’s exactly how we’ve designed Twitter. Every outrage is the exact same size, whether it was a US president declaring war on a foreign nation or a movie we remember fondly from our childhood being recast with (gasp!) women in the lead roles or an eighteen-year-old who made a stupid decision on what to wear to the prom. On Twitter, those problems become exactly the same size. They receive the same amount of outrage. They’re presented identically. They’re just as big as one another. Twitter works like a giant depressed brain. It can’t tell right from wrong, and it can’t tell big from small. It needs help.
L’asservissement et l’éthique, p. 157 :
This sets up scenarios where people entering the workforce need to find jobs that pay them well, and once they’ve found that job, they need to keep it. So, we’ve got young kids with very little job experience working at these massive companies that pay them enough to pay down that student debt and are supplying their health insurance. This is not a good recipe for an ethical revolution. This is a recipe for how to build a workforce that’s beholden to you.
Le web amplifie toutes les voix de manière égale, mais l’égalité n’est pas l’équité, un jour les gens seront capables de comprendre la distinction et tout ira pour le mieux dans le meilleur des mondes, p. 164 :
The promise of the internet was that it was going to give voice to the voiceless, visibility to the invisible, and power to the powerless. That’s what originally excited me about it. That’s what originally excited a ton of people about it. It was supposed to be an engine of equality. Suddenly, everyone could tell their story. Suddenly, everyone could sing their song. Suddenly, that one weird kid in Helena, Montana could find another weird kid just like them in Bakersfield, California and they could talk and know they weren’t alone. Suddenly, we didn’t need anybody’s permission to publish. We put our stories and songs and messages and artwork where the world could find them. For a while it was beautiful, it was messy, and it was punk as fuck. We all rolled up our sleeves and helped to build it. We were the ones who were supposed to guide it there. We failed. We failed because we were naive enough to believe everyone had the same goals we did. We failed because we underestimated greed. We failed because we didn’t pay attention to history. We failed because our definition of we wasn’t big enough. We designed and built platforms that undermined democracy across the world. That is odious. We designed and built technology that is used to round up immigrants and refugees and put them in cages. That is odious. We designed and built platforms that young, stupid, hateful men use to demean and shame women. That is odious. We designed and built an entire industry that exploits the poor in order to make old rich men even richer. That is odious. We pointed out that all these things were odious, but we were told that they were making money, so chill out. Then we became sick at heart.
Le designer travaille pour les utilisateurs, p. 175 :
One of the reasons humans band together in larger communities is to protect each other from something larger than ourselves. Our power derives from our collective power. We can’t design things for the common good if the sole community we’re representing is our boss. When we look out at a team with twelve people in it, we need to know that team is representing the best interests of twelve different communities. We need to know that team is doing something those communities need. We need to know that team is making sure that tool isn’t going to have adverse effects on those communities. Will that slow us down? You bet. That’s a feature, not a bug. We’ve seen where moving fast and breaking things has gotten us.
Les « créatifs », p. 203 :
love you, but it’s time to kill some dreams. For decades, we let other people refer to us as “creatives.” It made us feel good. It made us feel special. This was a term coined by marketing agencies in the 50s to refer to all the people in the office who didn’t wear suits or vote for Eisenhower. It’s not an empowering term, and no, we’re not “reclaiming” it. We’re burning it with fire. It’s a word for which we traded our agency, value, and stakeholdership. We’re not creatives, we’re designers. We may think and do our work in creative ways, but we’re not special in that regard. Everyone else in the office who’s worth their salt works in creative ways. Make them call you by your name. That name is designer.