Another Design Newsletter.

Hola, I’m Pablo Stanley, a designer, artist, comics writer, and cofounder of Bueno, Humankind, and Robotos. Every week I send an email sharing a thought and a list of design-related gems. It includes inspiring work, cool typefaces, people to follow, tools to try, jobs, and other delicious spam. If you’re into that stuff, subscribe!

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March 26, 2023

Habit Loops

Hey there!

I recently finished reading "Atomic Habits" by James Clear, a book that had been on my to-read list for quite some time. The book explains how small, consistent changes in our habits can lead to significant improvements in our lives. While reading, I couldn't help but think about the connections between habit loops and design flows in the products we use daily, including our work at Bueno.

At Bueno, we're incorporating habit loops into our product to make creation and creativity a habit that keeps artists engaged and productive. We want to help artists move away from the idea of relying on a magical, never-appearing "inspiration" and, instead, focus on constant action and exploration to find their way in the creative process.

However, it's essential to recognize that these flows can also lead to addictions or habits that aren't beneficial for the user. We've all seen examples of products designed to exploit our attention and keep us engaged for extended periods, ultimately leading to unhealthy behaviors.

As designers, we have a responsibility not to fall into the trap of creating products that prioritize engagement over user well-being. We're committed to designing experiences at Bueno that genuinely improve users' lives and help them make better decisions, while also being mindful of potential negative consequences.

So, next time you work on a project, think about the habit loops you're creating and the potential impact on your users. Remember, it's not just about getting people to come back for more—it's about making a positive difference in their lives.

Keep designing responsibly and creatively!

Note: I didn't read the book, I listened to it on Audible. But saying “I heard this book” doesn't sound as cool.

Now... some interesting links,

  • Is Working From Home Really Working?
    This NYT article discusses the challenges and benefits of remote work, highlighting how Salesforce and Meta are navigating the shift to a work-from-home model. It touches on the implications of remote work on company culture, collaboration, and employee well-being. Is your team also working remotely? What do you think?
  • ChatGPT Plugins 
    Developers can now enhance ChatGPT's capabilities by creating custom plugins. This is wild! The opportunities are here, friends!
  • Hollywood Is Betting on Fear
    As a movie fan, I'm torn about Hollywood's focus on horror films to attract audiences back to theaters. While I hope this leads to more experimental movies like Hereditary or M3GAN, I worry about the potential overemphasis on fear.
March 21, 2023

The Creative Block Illusion

For a whole year, I allowed the illusion of writer's block to prevent me from revisiting this newsletter. I fell into the trap of seeking perfection and certainty, waiting for that magical bolt of inspiration from the creative gods. But I've come to realize that creativity is not a divine gift that strikes at random; it's a choice we make every day.

Creative blocks often stem from our desire for certainty and perfection. We want to be right, to create something polished and flawless, and this can either stall our progress or prevent us from ever getting started. The truth is, our quest for perfection and certainty can be the very things that create the illusion of a creative block.

To overcome this, it's essential to embrace imperfection and take action, no matter how small or seemingly insignificant. Just write, doodle, or create whatever comes to mind, even if it's a stick figure or a nonsensical sentence. The act of creation itself can break down barriers and help us reconnect with our innate creativity.

In a world where AI can do almost anything, a simple human-made sketch or a raw, unfiltered thought becomes a thousand times more unique and valuable. So, don't let the pursuit of perfection hold you back. Embrace the messiness of the creative process, and trust that each stroke of the pen or keystroke brings you closer to discovering your true artistic voice.

By letting go of our need for certainty and perfection, we can shatter the illusion of creative blocks and unlock our boundless potential. Start today by creating something – anything – and remember that every masterpiece begins with a single mark or word. It's time to take action and choose creativity over the paralyzing illusion of the writer's block.


Curated Links of the Week:

  1. Gray Area [Podcast]
    I love how the host invites you to challenge conventional wisdom, and hear the other side of the story in this podcast by Vox.
  2. Matter [Font]
    Matter is a Warm Grotesk Typeface that combines the classic feel of a traditional grotesk with subtle, warm touches. I think it's great for headlines, body text, and everything in between. It's one of those fonts that I just want to use on something.
  3. M3GAN [Movie]
    This not a new movie, but if you haven't seen it, or dismiss it because it looks cheesy... don't be fooled by the thriller. While it's not a classical horror movie, it still manages to unsettle you as the aunt tries to console her niece while a robot is... ok... I'm spoiling it. Just go watch it on any stream service that rents movies.