Including nature in our built environment creates spaces that are healthier for us and the planet.
Hey there, happy you're here! I've got a few hobbies and interests that I'm really excited about, and love sharing what I'm learning. You'll find posts about design, research, and climate. Enjoy!
Why is fungi nature's best problem solver?
Fungi are everywhere, and the more I've seen it the more entranced I've become. So let's look at how fungi works, and how we might learn from it. Part 1 will include cool fungus facts (a phrase I never thought I'd say), and Part 2 will reimagine how we might learn from fungus.
I've been thinking a lot lately about how art influences us and the way we influence it. I think that having nature inspired art is a wonderful way to both appreciate nature, and even discover things that you hadn't noticed before.
We're continuing with Part 2 on how the soil can save us, based on the documentary Kiss the Ground. Previously we talked about the importance of soil and the scary realization that desertification was expanding on a global level. The open question for all of us is; what can we do about it?
The other day I was watching the Netflix show Kiss the Ground, which is all about soil. I enjoy documentaries, and although climate documentaries can be overwhelming, I don't know all that much about soil and thought the movie might be informative. But I watched it two weeks ago and am still thinking about it! Here's a little bit of what I learned. Buckle in, cuz this is only Part 1 of 2...
Conservation is a huge part of combatting climate change, because once something is damaged or lost it takes many, many decades or generations to build itself back up again. And refusing to clean up our plastic mess, in addition to refusing to stop using plastic, leads to especially harmful pollution in our water.
I thought this week I would talk about mental health, climate change, and hope. How do we deal with feelings of grief and loss of what we know?
One of the (many) things that makes climate change so hard is the inability to truly understand it. If we don't understand it, it makes it hard to push for change. So, today I want to talk about climate modeling and visualization. How might we use these tools to better understand the challenge that we all face?
Healthcare is a unique place for design, innovation, and nature to come in, because healthcare really isn't something that's really in the front of our minds when we talk about waste.
Today I want to look at the possible future of planes. What might we do differently to reduce emissions when using air travel?
I want to talk about trees again, mainly because I love them so much and because I think planting trees is one of the most hopeful acts you can do. A tree is a bet on the future, something that will be most appreciated after you've lived and died, and therefore something that you do for others.
As spring comes and brings more light later into the day, I've been thinking a lot about how light plays in our life. It's easy for us to flip a switch as night comes, without even thinking about it. However, a lot of material goes into our lighting and the impact of our lights creates light pollution that confuses migrating birds and nocturnal animals and insects.
Hi there! Today we're gonna talk about tardigrades, also known as water bears. Water bears are some of the strongest little creatures out there.
If you know anything about me by now, you may have noticed I love (love) plants. I love growing my garden, and spend a lot of time watching the flowers. If you've ever done this, you may have noticed that some of your flowers close at night. Purple shamrocks, tulips, lotus, morning glory, and california poppies are just a few of the many flowers that exhibit this behavior.
I often talk about the future and climate change mitigation. How might we change something going forward to reduce or reverse climate change? But an important part of climate justice requires a realistic view. And that view must include adaptation. How might we reimagine our relationship with nature in order to adapt to a changing climate?
Sitting with untapped potential, how could mushrooms help us create a better future and mitigate climate change?
Although we all likely know about renewable energy by now: wind, hydro, solar, and even nuclear energy, one of the ongoing problems we've had for moving toward new energy is being able to store that energy in a battery. Today I wanted to look at opportunities for understanding how nature stores energy and how we might mimic that with our own technologies.
This week we'll be talking about a sad subject, but one filled with a lot of hope.
Today I'm going to talk with you about something you probably never thought you'd read about.... peat bogs! Why peat bogs, Marisa, I hear you ask me through the screen.
Today we take a quick look at Betterment's Socially Responsible Investment portfolio. What's that all about and is it any good?
This week we're going to talk about plastic. Something that we use every day, and is one of the easiest ways to perpetuate our fossil fuel usage.
I've talked a lot so far about trees and plants, but there's so much more beyond what's beneath our feet. So today I wanted to talk about the ocean. Think of this as an introduction into how the ocean and climate are related.
Hope your day is going well. Today we're going to talk about some ways people are using sound to connect with nature.
It's time for another retrospective! This year was... a lot.
I love food and love gardening so I figured this week we'd look take a look at some possible futures for growing food. How can tech, nature, and innovative thinking reimagine how we plant and what types of food we grow?
This week we're looking at some examples of cities and towns that are putting in the effort to reforest their communities in an attempt to make their areas better for themselves and the planet. We see how we're reforesting both outside and inside our lived spaces.
I spend a lot of my time thinking about climate change. Over the years, I've struggled over how to have an impact, especially when I'm not specifically working in the climate space. This post is about how my thoughts have evolved on this over the course of my career.
If you're interested in getting started in UX Research, I wrote up what worked for me, and resources I've used.
This post is for people interested in growing their UX Research career. I discuss how I've grown research programs and grown into a Senior Design Researcher role. This is a live post, so I'll be making updates and additions based on questions I get. If you've got a question, send a tweet to @marisamorby and I'll answer it and update the post!
Tips on creating a good user experience for first time contributors to OSS.
Do you suffer from anxiety? I do, and am fascinated with how neuroscience, behavior, and anxiety are all related. This post goes into how this is all interconnected and some ideas that might help you manage your own anxiety.
Takeaways about scaling research from a Research Ops town hall I attended in the summer of 2020.
When you've got a good product idea, how do you know that it's actually something you should pursue?
One of the biggest problems on research calls is asking leading questions. They can easily derail an interview and make any insights you get biased and often wrong. They'll lead you down a path that doesn't actually solve problems, because you've seeded the interviews with leading questions.
When running research calls, your insights will only be as good as the goals you set and the questions you ask. I want to take some time to talk about how I approach research calls and get more context and clarity from our research participants.
We need bolder visions to help us imagine what our cities and towns could be. This post starts to explore what that could look like, starting with a few examples that already exist or are in design.
I often have trouble posting and sharing content, even though I really want to. I got some recent advice from my coach to help me think about it a bit differently. I wanted to share the two biggest things that stood out to me.
Streets were originally meant for all people to use. With the rise of the car, people got pushed further to the edges, and an entire legal system was set up to defend drivers of cars rather than those impacted by them. How can we change that narrative now?
Often, research teams at small to mid-size companies only have one or two people in charge of identifying, conducting, and sharing research and insights. This is my in progress guide to creating a research program when you don't have a large team to work on it.
We can design a better world if we're willing to ask better questions and make real change.
We often hear that we should make things "easy" for people using our product. The trouble is that when we do that, we rob people of the joy of overcoming small bits of friction. See how to think about friction in a different way.
Joining the conversation on climate is for everyone, because it will impact all of us.
Let's use our imagination and dream up a better future.
I had the opportunity to give a talk at the Portland Junior Developers meetup. This post is a link to that presentation, where I shared some ideas on how can we use research, design, and tech to create better cities.
Insert your own funny 2020 vision quote here... everybody happy? But for real, let's look at how things went in 2019 and goals for 2020.
I recently had a conversation with someone that asked me, "Why are Americans so angry?" And that got me thinking, so I wrote down why I think we're all so upset.
A few months ago I was lucky enough to go to the Cooper Hewitt Design museum in New York. The exhibit I saw was what I've been waiting for. It made me sad, excited, angry, and most of all—hopeful. It changed me in such a way that I still think about it almost every day. I want to share some of what I learned with you.
Researching and designing cars is no small task. But in order to build products that are sustainable and safe, we must learn to ask the right questions, and consider how the product will work within the entire system.
How anxiety can give way to productive anger.
It's common to think that processes are hard, disruptive, and annoying. But each step we take to complete a task is part of a process. Whether or not that process is effective is up to you. Learn how to create effective processes with a little team research.
Some people who use your system will be bad actors. As researchers and designers, how can we design to deter this type of behavior?
How working in a startup and constantly redefining your role can be terrifying, fun, and ultimately help you grow.
Outputs and outcomes are thrown around in product management a lot. In this post, I talk about why you need to measure outcomes if you really want to succeed.
Not dedicating time to research is a bad business decision. In this post I talk about how to create a research program from the ground up, even if you've never had a research program before.
Another year has come and gone, so it's time for reflection and goal setting!
The process we went through to create the Gatsby Swag store.
Some thoughts on running my own business, the second time around.
I struggle with starting projects, and basically never finish them. So I’ve always considered myself a quitter, until now. Here’s how I changed.
How you handle bad feedback is what separates successful freelancers from the ones that crash and burn. Instead, turn something bad into something useful.
Got an email sign up list? What happens when people sign up? Check your site flow to make sure you're not confusing site visitors.
I get frustrated trying to market on Facebook sometimes. But here are two things you can do that will make your marketing even better!
Dealing with a website can be frustrating, but it's necessary. Enter the one page website. Include these three things to keep you customers happy.
How can we prepare ourselves for a future with no office? I talked with four remote work experts, and here's what they had to say.
Want to work from home, but not sure how to convince your boss? I'm here to help you have that talk.
If you're tired of all those documents, hard files, and a pile of papers on your desk, here's how I run my business completely paper-free
If you're trying to make money in this crazy online market, you've got to stand out. Here are some easy tips to get noticed.
With sites like YouTube, Tumblr, and BuzzFeed, it's amazing that any of us are able to focus and get work done. If you struggle to focus like I do, I've got some ideas that are going to rock your world.
Are your panties in a twist over this first potential client call? I know that feeling. Stop freaking out, I'm here to help you out.
Resolutions are great for some people, but not me. Instead, I'm only picking one thing to do differently, and it's going to change my whole year.
Talent isn't what you think it is. It isn't something you're born with. It's something you earn. Learning this has completely changed how I view learning and practice. It's also taught me how to do the right types of practice to really grow.
I've spent the last year on the road. These are some of the things I've discovered.
All I wanted to do was give them my money, but they wouldn't take it. A bad user experience like this one can cost you customers.
When I try new things sometimes I end up getting in my own way. But I'm figuring out that we really can learn anything — it's all about mindset.
How do you grab your customers' attention in a busy world? And how do you keep it? The answer is probably more entertaining than you think.
New projects raise lots of questions. What if I make a huge mistake or don't know what I'm doing? Here's how to decide whether or not to take it on.
I love a great story, don't you? Here are some tips on creating a great brand story that will make your customers happy.
Here's how to start a great conversation with your current customers and get them engaged.
Trust is the cornerstone of business. Here's how to make sure your customers trust you.
We all hate getting caught up in the fury of a moment and making an ass of ourselves. Luckily, there are some simple steps you can take to make sure this doesn't happen again.
How to stop being blindsided with extra work, missed deadlines, or confused clients.
Building self-confidence is one of the best things you can do for yourself. Read these tips on building self-confidence for a happier life.
Don't be an asshole. Especially to yourself.
Some people are full of shit. Sometimes we have to deal with those people. Here are 6 ways to make that less painful.
Like getting what you want? Being perceptive can help with that.
Tired of the things around you always changing? Feel like you can't keep up? If you want to survive in a world with constant change, you have to adapt. Here's how to start.
Sometimes house plants can be really difficult to maintain. They usually die from being loved to death... overwatered. So, I wanted to share tips on how to get started with gardening even if you don't have a lot of space. If you have a window that opens or a little balcony then you've got yourself a little outdoor garden!