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 Principal Designer at Adobe, Design Chair 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. Refer to the advertising and sponsorship page for inquiries.+
A few weeks ago, my friend Paul Ford of the New York City product design studio Postlight invited me to appear on their podcast Track Changes, hosted by Paul and his co-founder Richard Ziade. It was a fun conversation that touched on a number of topics, including what I learned about designing products in startups and how that compares to my experience building products at big companies.
One of the biggest lessons I’ve learned in the past five years, having been in start-ups and been in pure software companies, is in contrast to the way I thought about products when I was at a design studio before, basically the little agency, or a big agency, or at a big company. It’s very difficult to pre-determine what a product is going to look like or feel like or even do from the beginning. And maybe the biggest truism that I’ve discovered about software products is they are the direct result of the people who work on them in the beginning, those very early formative stages.
That quote, which I copied from Postlight’s announcement, was transcribed more or less verbatim, I believe, so excuse the rambling—I sound marginally smarter when you hear it. The episode is just out today and you can listen via the SoundCloud embed above or grab it for your favorite podcast app at trackchanges.postlight.com.+