Companies trying to get people back in the office lol 
The Last Few Weeks.

A monthly roundup of product design, email, and climate news.
View / share in a browser

Welcome to Issue #14.

When I started this newsletter, I set my signup for to be double opt-in. I want to be a good digital citizen and ensure I would only send to folks who truly wanted my newsletter.

Last month I took a look at my pending subscribers, folks who signed up but never clicked the button in the confirmation email, and I saw a bunch of email addresses I knew. Friends, coworkers, peers. Maybe the email went to spam. Or got buried.

Since I had a pretty good feeling these folks would want at least one newsletter, I subscribed them proper. If you’re one of them, this is your first newsletter, even if you signed up months ago.

If I screwed up, if anyone wants out, please unsubscribe. I’d rather have a smaller list of people who want to hear from me.

Anyway, I send twice a month and hope y’all enjoy.

In this issue: Doing strategy as a designer, a fair way to look at global carbon emissions, and editing code in ESPs.

artwork by Jessica Cruickshank

Product Design

I published an article last week about doing strategy as a product designer. Quite frankly it’s something I struggled with for a long time, so I tried to write the article I wish I had years ago. Here’s the lede:

Business and strategy are not taught in design school and it’s not something every designer is drawn to, but senior designers should know the basics and be able to communicate the value of design from a business POV.

The idea’s been in the back of my head for a while. Reading a couple articles and seeing a couple tweets motivated me to organize my thoughts.

For me, being strategic and having decent business acumen is something that separates good designers from great ones. And you can replace “designer” with “engineer”, “writer”, or countless other job titles.

If you’ve been through a similar journey, I’d love to hear about it.

Email Geeks

📊 Poll time: How do you feel about each issue having a unique design?

I like it   ·   Meh

One of the reasons I chose Email Octopus was because they treat custom HTML as a first class citizen. One of my newsletter’s goals is to keep my design and development skills fresh.

However another goal is to gradually grow my list and Email Octopus doesn’t offer any tools to help with that. And I’m a terrible self-promoter.

As I look at other ESPs with growth features, I notice most offer only pre-made templates and visual editors instead of direct code access. I’m starting to wonder. “Do I really need code access”?

I know a bunch of y’all are developers, and if you have a newsletter I’d love to hear what you think.

Climate Tech

I love me some good data viz, and the climate tech space is a place where it can have a huge impact. When Data Wrapper dove into a reddit post, downloaded the data, and visualized some of the more interesting results.

In 2020, China emitted more CO₂ than the next 14 highest-emitting countries combined. However it’s a little more complicated than that and these graphs help tell those stories.

In short:

  • Per capita, China's emissions look more like Germany's.
  • The U.S. is still history's biggest carbon emitter by a large margin.
  • Europe consumes more carbon than most charts claim because they export some of their emission to other countries using clever bookkeeping tactics that our planet won’t care about one bit.

Graph  showing the U.S. is still history's biggest carbon emitter. Cumulative emissions, the running sum of CO₂ released from fossil fuels and industry since 1750.

When looking at global CO₂ emissions, it's important to consider different ways of interpreting the data. Each approach shows different aspects of the climate crisis and how complex and interconnected the issue is.

For Fun

Alexis Gay with another hilarious sketch on companies trying to get people back in the office.

A still from Alexis's video. She is mid-sentence with the words 'in the office' and 'collaboration' displayed as closed captioned text.

Thanks for reading, see you in a fortnight ✌️