Design is the Solution

After 10 years, I’ve finally updated my sustainable design book with new material, tools, and examples.


There are more kinds of value than merely functional and financial—5 kinds, in fact. I co-wrote this book about how organizations and people can research and plan to make more valuable experiences for others, more meaning in the world, and more successful brands over time.

Make It So

Many designers enjoy the interfaces seen in science fiction films and television shows. Freed from the rigorous constraints of designing for real users, sci-fi production designers develop blue-sky interfaces that are inspiring, humorous, and even instructive. By carefully studying these “outsider” user interfaces, designers can derive lessons that make their real-world designs more cutting edge and successful. More info or buy the book…

Making Meaning

In a market economy characterized by commoditized products and global competition, how do companies gain deep and lasting loyalty from their customers? The key is in providing meaningful customer experiences.

Writing in the tradition of Louis Cheskin, one of the founding fathers of market research, the authors of Making Meaning observe, define, and describe the meaningful customer experience. By consciously evoking certain deeply valued meanings through their products, services, and multidimensional customer experiences, they argue, companies can create more value and achieve lasting strategic advantages over their competitors. More info or Buy the book…

Design Strategy in Action

A book about how business education needs to change to be more effective, creative, and more entrepreneurial. More info…

Experience Design 1.1

Experience Design 1.1 is the update to the seminal book Experience Design 1, published in 2001. This update expands the text in the descriptive chapters and adds may new online and offline examples. More info… or Buy the book…

Design is the Problem

Design makes a tremendous impact on the produced world in terms of usability, resources, understanding, and priorities. What we produce, how we serve customers and other stakeholders, and even how we understand how the world works is all affected by the design of models and solutions. Designers have an unprecedented opportunity to use their skills to make meaningful, sustainable change in the world—if they know how to focus their skills, time, and agendas. In Design Is the Problem: The Future of Design Must be Sustainable, Nathan Shedroff examines how the endemic culture of design often creates unsustainable solutions, and shows how designers can bake sustainability into their design processes in order to produce more sustainable solutions. More info or buy the book…

Experience Design 1

This was the first edition of my manifesto on experience design. (2001) More info…

Articles & Presentations

Unified Field Theory of Design

An early (1994) description of Interaction Design and how it relates to other design disciplines (also in Italian)

Interfaces for Understanding

A chapter written at the request of the National Research Council (1996)

Interfaces for Understanding

Understanding Seductive Interfaces

This is from a presentation back in the late 1990s for the now-defunct Living Surfaces conference. It was based on an article for the ACM.

Brand Futures White Paper

This is a presentation Davis Masten and I originally gave at the 2010 annual IDSA conference. It’s based on the Brand Futures workshops we ran for the AIGA, documented in this white paper.

Presentations on Slideshare

I’m trying to be more consistent with uploading presentations from talks to Slideshare. In addition, I post a lot of my presentation videos to my LinkedIn profile (though the newer ones are stupidly listed on the bottom).

Interactive Conversation

This is a self-running interactive conversation about Interaction and Interface Design created by me and Peter Spreenberg (then of IDEO) . It was given at the Intermedia conversation in 1995 as an interactive experience for the audience. It was self-running with a human attendant so that audience members could yell out their choices at any time to change the conversation or topic track.

TED6 Presentation

This presentation was given at the TED6 conference in Monterey. It didn’t go over very well… I got some absolutely, uncalled for, violent attacks and some really enthusiastic, congratulations. It wasn’t hard to figure out who was threatened and who was excited. The metaphor of a strip-tease was just too much for most people to handle. It’s unfortunate because it’s a great analogy. Understanding and information function in layers all around us and to get to meaning (to understand), we must learn to peel away the data and the lower levels at each turn. You can’t ever get to the point of generating Wisdom without being ready to deal without yourself on an intimate level (hence the near nudity).

100 Years

This presentation was given twice at the VISCOMM conferences in 1995 (once in San Francisco and once in New York City). It has also been built into a self-running interactive article. It allows the audience to explore the topic of creating experiences for others in a branching structure. In this case, the content (message) is more important than the structure itself. Some parts are self-running and linear, other parts offer choices for exploration. The topic, interaction design and performance is explored in different facets within the material.

An Opportunity for Shared Strategy, DMI 2010

This is an article I wrote for the DMI journal in 2010 on a new way to design business strategy to be more meaning—ful.