Meta Refresh 2013

The design and engineering of user interface on the web

Questioning the "why"

Submitted by Navjot Pawera (@isnav) on Jan 6, 2013

Section: Process Technical level: Beginner Session type: Lecture Status: Confirmed & Scheduled


To remind us that questioning our goals is probably the most important piece in creating a useful, and usable product.


As product creators - designers & developers alike - we do our best to keep up to date about the newest of technologies. We are inspired by the possibilites they present and motivated to learn and master them. We put these technologies to use, to build the products we envision. This excites us, and addiction is easy.

We lead ourselves down a path of obsession in a quest to master the tools. Absolute know-how becomes the goal. And we lose sight of what we set out to achieve.

Our minds get occupied with figuring out "how" to build our products, and this distracts us from keeping in mind "why" we set out to build them in the first place.

Although the "how" is of utmost significance, it is important to think of your product from a holistic perspective. It’s easy to get lost in achieving technical wins, but it’s equally important to think about why those are necessary.

The question, "why", is a very important and significant one. It helps us to level with ourselves and bring ourselves out of the obsession with technology. "Why", reminds us that the tools are just a means to accomplish something more meaningful.

I'll be talking for the "why".

Speaker bio

I constantly think about the design process - as I was never educated in one. I studied to be an engineer but educated to become a product designer. I'm still educating myself with the help of others - and try to do my bit helping others however I can.

I now live in Singapore and work with different companies to create products. I also curate the Interaction Design Sessions ( )

My links - &


  • Benjamin Arthur Lupton (@balupton) 7 years ago (edited 7 years ago)

    I really dig this proposal, and is a topic I love to talk about as well. Too often than not, people get caught up with what they’re doing, rather than for what purpose they’re actually doing it - especially when things start going wrong with their current plans, and things start falling apart, egos can get in the way and continue downward into an even bigger hole - when really, questioning why you’re doing it in the first place, can often bring you that step or two back enough to gain that new light of perspective and clarity needed to move straight forward in an easy and relaxed manner. So +1, hope to see you there.

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