Daily Routines



In this design challenge we work under the hypothesis that the way we build software is linked to how we organize ourselves in real life. Have a look at a corporate, the way the website and company are structured are often the same. Another example: “We tend to assume that the user has enough (technical) knowledge and understanding to perform a certain task.” Is this human centered? No it is not. 

If we deep dive in real life, and visualize our daily routines and break routines down using first principles. We might find clues how to humanize our software design, while finding building blocks for product-market-fit.


The biggest problem in today’s world is that we approach everything as a conveyor belt. Commodities are dug up, made into a product,  pushed into a box, bough, used and dumped in a landfill. A very non-sustainable approach which is seemingly hard to unlearn. We apply the same principles in our digital design efforts. We tend to grasp attention, build up interest, create desire and persuade to complete a transaction. The product or service is consumed and after its lifespan ends up in the trashcan. This relation between the real world and software design and our pure focus on transaction is a big problem.


I truly believe that if we design our software circular using conversational interaction design, we are able to bring positive change to our real world as well. Software has already proven to be very addictive, perhaps we can use this addiction to design for good? 

Everything in our lives runs in circles. Take your daily routines for example. During the week you probably have a rhythm. Your morning ritual, including, sport, taking a (cold) shower, meditation and perhaps some journaling? Than critical emails, meetings, writing, design and work sessions. You have lunch and diners. You look forward to evening events. All repetitive events (Circles) which span over days.

This phenomenon of circles in circles – or the multi-dimensional aspect of subject matters – makes it hard to design new types of software. But with the help of the Circular Daily Routines worksheets we might open the door to new possibilities.

I argue that we should focus on relationship building, on helping people through conversations which resonate in our daily lives. not to focus on hype. Focus on community building and meaningful engagement. Transactions will be a natural result of this approach, and we might even find new business models which don’t end up in the black box our financial systems currently offer. If we are brave enough to use our domain knowledge and skills for good, bring in other domain partners into our ecosystem, we might humanize our software design, socially innovate ourselves and our business, while building a wealth network in the process.



The result is a circular representation of our (daily) routines. Which can broken down even further. Lets use a remote meeting as example. If we apply First Principles to a remote meeting what do we get?  Date, Time, Duration, Invitation, Software, People, Design system, Agenda, Minutes? You get the idea. By breaking up our (daily) routines we could really start to humanize software, especially if we leverage the powers of human activity pairs, emotion mapping within our experience maps.


Stellar UX is surfacing. I hope you’ll join my mission in humanizing software by designing for meaningful engagement. By designing with routines using conversational interaction design we can really have an impact in the way we think. Hopefully this will reflect in our real world, as software has to ability to connect us in meaningful ways.

Forget features, focus on human routines. Breaking down routines using first principles and you will find the building blocks to humanize your software design.

Download “Stellar UX - Daily Routines” Stellar-UX-Daily-Routines-Worksheets-Iteration-1.pdf – Downloaded 9 times – 677 KB


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