The Uncertainty Mindset 2019-2020

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#27: Ambient uncertainty, Part 1

vaughn2nd January 2021 at 2:01pm

This issue is Part 1 in a series about ambient uncertainty—intentionally creating manageable, low-level uncertainty as a sort of personal training regimen for cultivating the uncertainty mindset.

A daily life built around predictable, comfortable routines makes a habits out of certainty and predictability. And it isn’t surprising that becoming habituated to certainty and predictability means becoming distressed when that predictability suddenly goes away.

The solution is to design daily life to be uncertain, but to ensure that the uncertainty starts out unthreateningly small and insignificant, and is so constantly present that it becomes unnoticeable. This ambient uncertainty should also reward unpredictably, by providing surprise and delight—this is also a principle for product design.

You can find it here: #27: Ambient uncertainty, Part 1