One of the nicest perks of Rene’s house is that the sunset is just half a block away. I stayed here during the winter and I’d come out to see it at 18:30, these mid-spring days the sun is coming down at 21:00. I’m sitting on a bench at Parque del Oeste (West Park) and the sun is two fingers distance at arm’s length from the horizon at 20:50. I shall register the increase as the days pass. But it won’t be long, in June I’ll find another place to stay. I’ll try to finish this work log before the sun disappears from the horizon.

I came into the office early and finished some pending work. At noon the work was reviewed and there was a big pushback on a feature of the design. In my times as an in-house designer I preferred to think of myself as an instrument for other people’s agenda, but today I pushed back.

In the design field there’s been some years of ‘siding with the user’, and this fact is accompanied with many titles and disciplines (User Centered Design, User Experience, Co-Creation, etc). If we look at the field exclusively from this perspective, we’re missing out on a larger perspective: you can design the ideal user experience, but you often run into problems such as business strategy, technical implementation capability, organizational culture, and more things I haven’t encountered yet.

Today I encountered one of those constraints which I hadn’t taken into account: in organizational hierarchy there’s different product goals, and sometimes these goals may be in conflict with each other. No matter how integrative is your vision, often times you must pick sides because it’s impossible to satisfy every stakeholder.

Not without pain I had to concede that I had chosen the wrong camp to support, and then put myself to the toil of completing the puzzle in an alternate configuration. At first it was literally painful to do, but as the pieces fit together I understood this second solution was just as valid as the first one. I could have taken the task home but I did it immediately, by now I know better to put off painful work. But in the end I was pleased.

When I was done I biked back home, and on the way I found a political rally. I was intrigued because I’ve never seen one in Spain, so I sat on the grass for a while. I was disappointed. Politics seems to be the same all over the world, 60% blaming the opposing party, 20% saying what people like to hear (tax the rich!), 20% saying what you’ll actually do (in the vaguest terms). It was interesting to observe, because I was actually sympathetic to their goals, but it was expressed in such bitterness that I was shooed away by the negativity.

The sun has just come down the horizon at 21:15, I’ll head back home.