January 19, 2024

NEW: added border to top of page scroll wrapper

NEW: GitHub added to homepage social links

NEW: added 'Beacon' to 'Notable Work' list

UPDATED: changed 'Past Work' label to 'Notable Work' on homepage for improved specificity

UPDATED: left aligned navigation

UPDATED: navigation wrapper is now semi-transparent material with blur

UPDATED: lowered border opacities from 0.15 to 0.10

UPDATED: site version number in top left is now synced with most recent changelog CMS version

January 18, 2024

NEW: added page scroll translate function to homepage about content card

UPDATED: changed formatting of writing page list items and container

January 17, 2024

NEW: writing page added

NEW: four archived writings added to writing CMS

NEW: site navigation added

NEW: link added to social links on homepage

UPDATED: screen area in footer recalculates on screen resize

UPDATED: added padding to homepage bio

UPDATED: changed copy in homepage bio

UPDATED: moved page area script to global HTML head

FIXED: adjusted alignment of homepage work history and social link items

KNOWN ISSUE: contact button is still broken

January 16, 2024

NEW: About section on homepage

NEW: Added DM Mono typeface

UPDATED: Window area calculation in bottom right

January 15, 2024

UPDATE: new is live

NEW: Changelog initialized

KNOWN ISSUES: Contact link does not work


Design is complex, development is complicated

Published on
September 19, 2023

Not too long ago, I was reading Brave New Work by Aaron Dignan and had a great revelation. In the opening chapters, Aaron emphasizes the difference between complication and complexity. Despite seeming like two ordinary words, I found the nuance between them as a delightful epiphany—especially in how they relate to all facets of life.

So, what is the difference between complicated and complex?

To put it as briefly as possible, a complicated system is one where cause and effect are directly related and known. You push this button and that light turns on. A complex system on the other hand is when the inputs and outcomes are variable and unpredictable. Aaron compares this to driving a car down a busy highway, never knowing when someone could cut into your lane or pump their brakes.

Recently I’ve been thinking about the process of building products in these system types and realized that the difference is quite clear between design and development.

Development as a process is that is complicated. While bugs occur when working with code, the code is always executed in a defined and predictable way. (I know many developers are going to contest this, but it’s true. Computers can only execute exactly as they’re instructed—but sometimes the rules they operate by are nonsensical or poorly described.)

Design on the other hand is complex. The inputs and outputs aren’t predictable as every person interfacing with your experience will be unique—they will all think differently from each other and have different backgrounds of which they’re acting on. This inevitable state of flux is what lead us as designers to not make the right solution, but the best one we can.

What else can we look at in this dichotomy of complex and complicated?