Topics and sub-industries in design and tech


Learn more about being a Climate Designer at And check out their jobs page, too.

Emergency on Planet Earth [Google Doc]
A thorough walkthrough of everything there is to know about the worldwide planetary climate emergency we’re currently facing, including what needs to happen next

Web3 & crypto

New to crypto/web3? There are basically two big boxes of stuff to learn: 1) how it works and 2) why it works, why it’s important, and what the outcomes it can make possible. For a first step on each, start here:

  1. Learn the mechanics with Ledger Academy, in particular their School of Block
  2. Crypto can be intimidating but is easy to learn once you get the hang of some core concepts and paradigm shifts relative to the old web2 world. One of the best ways to start to wrap your head around those new paradigms is this page about the pluriverse.

DAOs, A Canon, NFT Canon, and Crypto Canon are incredible collections of resources and reading, compiled (and often written) by a16z

Good Design in Web 3 [talk recording] and Designing for the Humans of Web3 (from ETHDenver ‘22)
By Yang You, an awesome product designer on my team at Syndicate

↳ Also check out Yang’s list of resources on her Shelf page

Gaby Goldberg’s Web 3 Reading List

Notes on Web3, an article sent by Robin Sloan to the Murray Street Media Lab in Berkley, CA

As designers, our inclination to deeply understand the problem and the people we’re solving for leads us to be cautious about jumping in to hi-fi design without first creating consensus. But DAOs’ democratic, hive-mind process means learning to design in a new way, one that leads with artifacts.

Building in web3? Bootstrap your testnet wallet with this faucet from Paradigm.

As you use dapps, you’ll approve tokens, exposing potential vulnerabilities. It’s a good idea to routinely check (and revoke, as needed) these approvals with Etherscan’s Ethereum Token Approval Checker.

Guang-Yi, legal counsel at Ethereum Foundation, wrote an incredible Crypto Compendium. It’s an amazing resource for anyone who wants to know anything about crypto laws and regulation. Note: I’m not a lawyer and this is not legal advice.

Want to learn to develop apps on web3? Try tranqui.eth’s Condensed Guide for Learning Web3 Development in 100 Days

Crypto, Culture, & Society is a “learning DAO exploring the impact of crypto on culture and society.” Check out their Web3 Starter Pack to get started with web3!

Learn to engineer web3 apps by building simple games with CryptoZombies

Another great starting point is this great list of crypto articles, compiled by Jihad Esmail, my teammate at Syndicate. I'm mirroring them here but head to that link for the latest:

Squad Wealth, Other Internet [Sam Hart, Toby Shorin, Laura Lotti]
Positive Sum Worlds
, Other Internet [Sam Hart, Toby Shorin, Laura Lotti]
Inventories, Not Identities
, Other Internet [Kei Kreutler]
Come for the Network, Pay for the Tool
, Other Internet [Toby Shorin]
Headless Brands
, Other Internet [Brian Lehrer, Sam Hart, Toby Shorin, Laura Lotti]
The Twin Propellers of Web3
, David Phelps
Community and DAOs
A Prehistory of DAOs, Other Internet [Kei Kreutler]
13 Ways of Looking at a DAO
, David Phelps
How to DAO 201: Onboarding as Wayfinding
, Rafathebuilder
How to DAO 401: DAO Community Leadership
, Rafathebuilder
Better Living Through Networks
, David Ehrlichman
Cities of Ghosts Await Their DAO Revival
, Dark Star DAO
Conceptual Models for DAO2DAO Relations
, PrimeDAO and BlockScience
DAOs as Novelty Search Engines
, olly.eth
Product Development
Market-Protocol Fit, Other Internet [Sam Hart, Toby Shorin, Laura Lotti]
A product manager’s guide to web3
, Jason Shah & Lenny Rachitsky
Legitimacy is the only moat
, David Phelps
Embedded Education
, Tina He
Crypto Wants to be Seen
, Kayvon Tehranian
Go-to-Market in Web3
, Maggie Hsu
Economics and Governance
Hyperstructures, Jacob Horne
DAO Delegates: Misused and Misunderstood
, Dan Wu, Julia Rosenberg, and Chun Poon
Pods: The DAOnfall of Token Voting
, Chun Poon, Julia Rosenberg, and Maria Gomez
Speculation is a Superpower
, Jacob Horne
Building an Economy Within a DAO
, Shreyas Hariharan

Lastly I may be producing a course on designing for crypto...stay tuned. If you're interested in getting updates, sign up at any email field on this site.

Multidevice UX

Designing Multi-Device Experiences: An Ecosystem Approach to User Experiences across Devices [book]
By Michal Levin (my former manager)  •  O’Reilly

This thread on designing TV products

Ten Usability Heuristics

Artificial intelligence

People + AI Research (PAIR) at Google, especially their guidebook is a great resource for designing at the intersection of human and artificial intelligence

Onboarding & empty states

Intercom on Onboarding and The Onboarding Starter Kit
By Intercom

Empty States: as the name says, a collection of empty state examples/inspiration in the style of Pttrns

Data visualization & information graphics

Simply the go-to manual for information graphics design:
The Wall Street Journal Guide to Information Graphics: The Dos and Don'ts of Presenting Data, Facts, and Figures [Book] by Donna Wong

Everything by Edward Tufte, particularly The Visual Display of Quantitative Information [Book]. He also hosts a 1-day workshop course where he teaches case studies from his books. I took this in-person in a giant hotel ballroom but it now appears to be offered online. Happy to tell you more if you’re considering it.

History and Foundation of Information Science, a curated list of books from the MIT Press

The Politics of Design [Book] by Ruben Pater

For a great case study in information graphics discourse, check out The New York Subway Map Debate [Book], a new book by Gary Hustwit, featuring newly discovered photos and transcripts from that famous evening at the Cooper Union in 1978 when designer Massimo Vignelli and cartographer John Tauranac debated the future of the NYC Subway Map. Includes a forward by Paula Scher of Pentagram as well. Definitely worth the read for anyone interested in designing information graphics; if you understand this tradeoff, you'll understand a lot about the subject.

How not to design data graphics: WTF Visualizations