is a blog about design, technology and culture written by Khoi Vinh, and has been more or less continuously published since December 2000 in New York City. Khoi is currently Vice President of User Experience at Wildcard and co-founder of Kidpost. Previously, Khoi was co-founder and CEO of Mixel (acquired by Etsy, Inc.), Design Director of The New York Times Online, and co-founder of the design studio Behavior, LLC. He is the author of “Ordering Disorder: Grid Principles for Web Design,” and was named one of Fast Company’s “fifty most influential designers in America.” Khoi lives in Crown Heights, Brooklyn with his wife and three children. RSS sponsorship opportunities available through /Syndicate Ads.+
When you live with a dog for five years, as I have with Mister President, you get to know him pretty well. They’re a beautiful, complex species, but really, they have some fairly simple, predictable behaviors: eat, sleep, play, eat some more. That’s part of what makes them so lovable.
Over the years, I’ve marveled at how straightforward and consistent Mister President’s behaviors are. I often joked with my ex-girlfriend how easy it would be to plot out most of his operating logic in flowchart form; heck, his decision-making flow is so simple I could describe it to most folks in a few words and they’d get it.
A Picture with Words Is Worth a Thousand Words
Still, for an interaction designer, what fun would it be to just describe it when I could make a diagram out of it? Which is just what I’ve done this evening, finally completing a flowchart that I’ve scribbled numerous times and recounted in conversation even more often over the years. It’s not a comprehensive topography of his logic, to be sure, but it does chart the most crucial routine of all: eating.
Gawd, I hope more people find it funny that I did this than they find it sad.