Musings on designing experiences & (re)engineering complexity

Jun 2024

Fluidity in Adapting

I often use the phrase “ahead and behind at the same time’ to describe what some have describe as my posture with tech/connected living. It is something of a backhanded comment to myself, hewn from the days when I wrote for BargainPDA/Brighthand. It means a feeling of being in front of a change, and also behind well after it was adopted with all the bugs cleaned up, and UX settled.

I’ve somewhat grown in that view - somewhat - when it’s felt more like a sensemaking framework (🙏🏾 to Jan Chipchase for such a powerful term). Making sense of the world and our multi-layered relationship to one another within it is a continual process. Some might call it “maturity.” While others would see it simply as “growing.” In whatever case, there’s a shift each decade gets in this relationship. Whether they use those words or other, this shift is not small, and for the most part doesn’t allow for turning back the clock. Our ability to be settled in such changes becomes an anchor, for however long we hold it, until the next winds come and once again call us to shifting our position(s).

This article uses the term fluidity. And it seems to follow the same cascading principle of “behind ahead and behind at the same time.” At least in the respect that one needs to have some kind of framing towards how they will react, respond, and participate within a changing world. While also displaying an anchor for themselves and others, as we all navigate from our accepted present towards a hopeful future.