Truth is something which can’t be told in a few words. Those who simplify the universe only reduce the expansion of its meaning.

– Anaïs Nin


Featured artist: Murat Kalkavan

Dense Discovery
Dense Discovery

Welcome to Issue 93!

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When I recently logged into my Mailchimp account, I quickly got frustrated trying to navigate my way around all the things I didn’t want to do. Even more off-putting than dealing with the usability challenges of feature bloat are the constant little hints that I’m not doing enough.

Mailchimp keeps telling me to “boost sales with shoppable landing pages and social media ads”. With every update, Dropbox reminds me that it needs access to my calendar, so I can make full use of “the world’s first smart workspace”. Seemingly every week, Adobe notifies me about some new cloud feature that will “enhance my creativity”.

Like a good kitchen knife, software tools should give us a sense of empowerment – the confidence of being in control. Sadly, the pressure to gain market share often does the opposite and turns simple tools into cumbersome multitools that leave us feel overwhelmed and inadequate.

Maybe that’s just the ‘natural’ progression of commercially successful software, and sure, we have plenty of alternatives to choose from. But still, it’s a shame to witness so many of my favourite digital tools become unrecognisable casualties of the growth cult. – Kai

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SiteGround →

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Apps & Sites

Plash →

Dynamic desktop wallpapers

macOS app Plash lets you set any website as your desktop wallpaper – either as a refreshing image or as a real, interactive web page. Or use Plash to regularly pull content from a feed or image source and display it as your desktop background.

Collected Notes →

Note-taking/blogging app

Collected Notes is an extremely simple iOS and web app to create private or public notes/posts in Markdown. Here’s a sample post.

MakeSpace →

A creative collaboration platform

Most of the video chat or collaboration platforms follow similar UI patterns. MakeSpace is the first such tool that really got me excited to collaborate online! Still in an early testing stage, MakeSpace allows you to completely customise a shared space – with video, shared browsing and streaming, and various other tools. A great team behind it, too! I hope they go through with the idea of turning this into a non-profit!

Bookmark OS →

Pro bookmark manager

If you’re serious about your bookmark collection, Bookmark OS gives you some powerful tools to organise, sort, display, and export bookmarks.


Indie Mag of the Week


Emergence Magazine →

Emergence Magazine features innovative stories that explore the threads connecting ecology, culture, and spirituality.

– Latest Issue: 1
– Frequency: 1 issue/year
– Formats: print & digital
– Origin: USA

Every week, we’re giving away five copies to randomly selected DD readers. Keep an eye on your inbox to find out if you’re among them!




Engaged →

Designing for behaviour change

A lot of the discussion about how psychology and design interconnect is focused on social media addiction (for good reasons), but better understanding behavioural science can also help us design for positive impact. “Whether you’ve studied psychology or are new to the field, you can incorporate behaviour change principles into your designs to help people achieve meaningful goals, learn and grow, and connect with one another. Engaged offers practical tips for design professionals to apply the psychology of engagement to their work.”


Sandqvist Harald →

Functional backpack

I really like the colour combos of this line of Sandqvist backpacks. Made from water-resistant polyester with some nice leather patch details, the inside holds 21 litres and includes a 13-inch laptop pocket. If Harald isn’t your cup of tee, try Bernt or the smaller Ilon.


Overheard on Twitter

Unity is a superpower they don’t want us to unlock.



Food For Thought

How Do I Figure Out What I Want in Life When Every Day Feels the Same? →


At a time when days blend into each other with no discernible difference, here’s some sound life advice: “That these are sad times and it feels bad to live in them is hardly insightful, but lately I’ve been wondering if it’s not so much the sadness but the sameness. Watching wicked people prosper over and over, having the same conversations about powerful men and the consequences they will never face, witnessing suffering that was easily anticipated and avoided, asking again and again what can be done about it and being told again and again, essentially, ‘nothing’.”

Lending Privilege →


This talk by engineering manager Anjuan Simmons provides a great overview of how some of us can use our privilege within a company to lift up others. Importantly, he argues that it starts with a grassroots effort – rather than a D&I policy coming from the top – because HR departments will always prioritise the good of the company, not that of the individual.

Why People Become Internet Trolls →


A deeper look at what drives different types of internet trolls. I don’t necessarily agree with Adam’s approach to responding to trolls, even though he makes clear that a lack of compassion/empathy is part of what creates trolling behaviour in the first place. “It is easier to view trolls as bad apples than see them as something inside all of us, waiting for the right environment to let loose. But when we condemn trolls as inherently malicious individuals, we limit our understanding of what may drive these behaviors.”


Aesthetically Pleasing

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Illustrator Matt Stevens envisions some of his favourite films as vintage books.

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I love the materiality of this amazing transformation of a 1842 Georgian cottage. (See the original images further below on that website.)

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Slovakian photographer Maria Švarbová recreates socialist-era scenes with stark colours and repetitive lines.

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Mr. Banks was first born as a set of bold numerals for a custom project but was then developed into a full font. Great for branding or editorial projects.



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The Week in a GIF


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