Defaults matter

Most people live on auto-pilot.

I’m currently learning interaction design for digital products. In the process, I’ve realized how important defaults are.

When you open Snapchat, the first screen you’ll see is a camera. This triggers people to take and send photos. The whole experience is built on the default state.

This concept applies to life more broadly as well. In life, rarely do people think about changing their default assumptions about others or the narratives they’ve learned since childhood.

To change your defaults, redefine things into your own words:

  • What is love?
  • What is friendship?
  • What’s a healthy relationship?
  • How can I be a good son?
  • What does happiness mean?
  • How do I know if I’m actually learning something?
  • Is a career in medicine something I really want?

When using digital products, be more mindful of your experiences. Products are designed by highly skilled professionals who apply principles from behavioral economics.

Using mindfulness, you can overcome addiction to technology.

Ever wonder why you get so many notifications from applications? Everything from the text in the notification to the time it’s sent is tested multiple times to elicit a response from you the user.

Companies that make digital products make money and sustain themselves by capturing your attention. Be wary of notifications.

Defaults matter! Observe them in your daily life.

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