(just one sec)

Alejandro Z

The plan was to build a portfolio site but somehow it turned into a series of illustrated conversations about design inspired by the Socratic method. Thank you.

Hey, is this gonna be a chat? seriously?

Dude, I told you.

fig 1.1

Alright, so what’s up?

Visual+interaction design+art

What sort of stuff are you into?

fig 1.2

Hmmm, prototyping, exploration, technology, thinking, making things, visuals, sounds

What’s you goal?

fig 1.3.

Make strange, happy things happen

Strange like what?

fig 1.4

Happy accidents, new flavors, new colors, new senses?

(games, wearables, exhibition pieces, hardware, software…)

fig 1.5

That’s a lot, how are you going to get that done?

Asking for help? I’m looking for friendships, partnerships, users, players…

business models…

fig 1.6

How do you work?

I have attention-deficit problems, so I need to try different things all the time

fig 1.7

My mom says that if you know what you are doing then you should be able to explain it clearly.

Well, not necessarily

fig 1.8

so your work is kind of experimental?

Hmm no, well, I try to be technology-agnostic,

fig 1.9

Everything is experimental, everything is changing all the time, so it’s not like there’s a choice

fig 1.9.1

What do you think?

Yeah, i don’t know, i think i’m confused/you’re confusing (this orange background is weird)

#tiredOfScrolling #crimesAgainstUX

Are the things we wear part of us? and what happens when those things become interactive? Is this a fad? Is everything a fad?


The way I imagine it is like soft hardware. You know, like textiles, skin-friendly, meaningful, non-smartphonish,

fig 2.1

Are you thinking of some outrageous, garish wearables?

Better garish than boring (I've worked on boring and fun wearables) I’m shooting for expresive


fig 2.2

(btw, this background works better)

Yeah, people express themselves with fashion, no?

fig 2.3

That’s your direction?

Part of it, yes, it’s about how things that are close to you, physically or otherwise, become… You

fig 2.4

And also the idea that wearables could be like helpful agents or spirits…

like demons and and angels whispering things into your ears?

Yeah, sort of.

#etherealForcesofGood #theseHashtagsAreFake

Everything is play, play is in everything… almost. Ubiquitous, universal, human, why is it important? Estimated reading time: 1.5 min.

You mean, like playing games?

No, it's more basic than that… Play is an essential, sometimes subconscious influence… Play always finds a way, though

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Is it about having fun? making people feel that?

Hmm, no, fun is good when it happens, but it’s not something I deliberately chase, it’s more about creating bonds

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Bonding what?

Bonds between people, mainly… Play is a tool to make emotional and personal connections…

So it’s not so subconscious after all, huh?

fig 3.3

I guess what I’m saying is that play is really important as part of the design process, and also play as an outcome can be very powerful!

Dude, what’s with all the monsters/characters?

fig 3.4

They are tools for play, signifiers for play, i.e toys

Yeah, but it’s not just objects or toys, right?

Yeah, not only that (toys can be imaginary, also), Play is both form and function… and soul!

#ludic #ludicrous #notClearAtAll

Because humans are attracted to screens like flies to lightbulbs? In this chapter: pixels, fingers, eyeballs, user experience and inexperience.

“Pixels” sounds very 2000’s

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Yeah, these days you need to think more about systems and flows but pixels are always there

I thought you were being retro, so you are more into UX planning?

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Sometimes is hard to separate the visual strategy from the interaction strategy…

So you do a little bit of everything?

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No, not everything, but I like be on top of things, see how all the parts, hmm, interact

I need to see how everything works together

fig 4.4

Sounds inefficient.

Sometimes, but for me it’s about owning what you do.

Yeah, but you don’t have to do everything yourself.

fig 4.5

True. But you need to know how everything fits together.

(Hey, don’t get mad!) Is it true that you strongly dislike the term “UX”?

fig 4.6

I hate a lot of words, but I’m not saying which ones

‘Experience’ is really abused, though. Kind of arrogant… now, experiment, that’s an interesting word

#fullStackDesigner #theStackIsAWooblyJengaTowerThough

In which the author and the other guy discuss increasingly nebulous interaction design matters (ok, we are obviously running out of things to say).

Is there some kind of overarching design philosophy?

I’m not super articulate for this kind of thing… I have a strong

fig 5.1

Subconscious mind which shapes a lot of my work. It’s a kind of primal, primitive thing

Hmm, yeah but can you control it?

fig 5.2

No, well, sometimes, (see these moving backgrounds?)

(yeah, is that your subconscious? so annoying!) What is the role of research in your process?

fig 5.3

It’s impossible not to do research, it’s happening all the time,

I mean, there’s a natural impulse that makes you question everything constantly

fig 5.4

I see what you mean but how do you engage in that constant research?

Drawing, sketching, making, observing

fig 5.5

I rely a lot on my physicality and what can be gathered through the senses…

fig 5.6

Senses > sensors.

(Senses & nonsense)

#subconscious #primalInteractions

Yeah, this is a bunch of completely different projects but everything connects somehow. Made by the author with help from lots of really talented people.