Before I show the last couple of slides, I want to take a second to talk about the language E-Prime.

E-Prime is just like English, only it doesn’t include the verb “to be”. So you can’t say something “is” something.

It leads you to a way of speaking which is very nondogmatic. Or rather, to speak in E-Prime: It can lead you towards a less dogmatic way of speaking.

It’s a good discipline for designers sometimes – well, it’s a good discipline for me – especially when I’m thinking too much like an engineer.

In the spirit of this, and this is another constraint language I like, Jo Walsh has begun to talk about We-Prime. She doesn’t mean that we, um, I should stop using the word “we”, only that we, um, I should think very carefully about what using that word entails. It’s another discipline. I’m nervous about speaking on behalf of designers, or technologists, or Europeans, or ubicomp practicioners, or whatever—and rightly so.

I mention these because they’re constraints which address certain important pitfalls in certain practices.

And the reason I mention them is because I have another motto I’m finding very useful in my work at the moment, and I wanted to share it with you.

Matt Webb, S&W, posted 2006-07-14 (talk on 2006-07-13)