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I recently moved, from Osaka to Tokyo. Packing your life into boxes is exhausting, but I found the “deciding what to keep” part reflective. I rediscovered some great books I’d bought and read years ago, but had not opened since. Revisiting Müller-Brockmann’s Grid Systems in Graphic Design again, I had fresh insights on how I could apply it to web design. Part of this was refreshing my memory, but there was more — I realised I’m a different person compared to when I read it the first time. At that stage I hadn’t designed to a baseline measure, and everything I’ve done since then (work, discussions, learning about Flexbox and CSS Grid Layout…) has affected my viewpoint.

I feel the same as the young me of 15 years ago, but my perspective has been continually changing. Realising this self-delusion is useful for judging my memories, and considering the viewpoints of others. Now I’m re-reading other “design thinking” books, to see what extra things the “now” me will perceive.

stack of design thinking books

Just like great movies, the best books and articles reveal more nuance the second or third time around. If you haven’t recently, re-read the best article of our profession — John Allsopp’s A Dao of Web Design, and reconsider this near-13 year old wisdom through the lens of Responsive Web Design and the zombie apocalypse of devices.

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