Some interesting stuff over on this post by Amber Case, arguing that design is a form of governance, in that it makes decisions about arrangements of what people can and cannot do within a space. Some excerpts:
In digital spaces, self-governance is enabled and circumscribed by the architecture of the platform on which people interact. This architecture determines the rules of engagement, and governs the interaction between separate user-generated institutions….
Users might want (and sometimes need) to do things the platform doesn’t allow. In this way, the governance aspect is even more pronounced because the platform product determines what kinds of interactions its user can and cannot engage in and with each other. Little or no representation is allowed…
All this culminates into a consumer experience where little about it can be fundamentally changed. And it’s nigh impossible to seek redress with the app developer.
This issue drives me pretty much insane using other people’s apps, as someone who is into design and governance, and works in product. It’s not infrequently that I get engaged in a protracted product critique over email with some unwitting support person who has no idea how to respond to this overbearing asshole on the other end of the line. Occasionally, I win or am able to negotiate some kind of short term solution, but it’s rare that a company just straight up adopts the changes I, as a complete outsider, come at them proposing. It’s rare, but I have seen it happen.
Anyway, tons more to say on these topics, but limited today presently. Go read Amber’s post.