Reduce Suffering, Increase Dignity

I updated on Twitter last November with the following:

New KPIs.
Our app/site/content/product:
1) Reduces human suffering.
2) Increases human dignity.

I’d been thinking about Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) trying to understand why companies measure things and what is really important to track. I'm not at all against using KPIs. What I was thinking at the time, and what I continue to wonder, is what are all those measurements in service of? That tweet was part being silly, but it was also the idealist in me wondering why so many products and services aren't attempting to reduce suffering and increase dignity.

When we started Studio VO in January, I noted in my LinkedIn profile that I was looking for projects which “increase dignity, reduce suffering.” It’s why we got our first lead as a brand-new company. The person searched “ux portland,” found me on LinkedIn, read that line in the summary section, and got in touch because of it.

I’m really glad someone contacted us who appreciated what I wrote. Especially since we’re going to try to make a living out of it. We want to work on projects that increase human dignity and reduce human suffering, whether it's with big-impact projects or improving even a moment of someone's day with small nudges.

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Users Never...

As we say around here, people are weird, and they will use your product in ways you never imagined. There's only one way to find out how, and that's by asking.

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