A Forum for Innovation

Introducing Member: Todd Patrick


Company: Sun Microsystems Inc.
Position: User Experience Designer
Country: USA
State: CA
City: Oakland
Cultural Ambassador:
Interests: Data Visualization, Design (Visual, Interactive, UXD, Environmental), Media, Sociology of Work, Sustainable models for business, design and development, Technology, Writing

Questions and Answers

What will you say about the work you've done at the end of your career?

Functional communication design that resonates with my intended audience. What more could one ask for?

Where do you go for inspiration?

My headphones, the theatre balcony, the tranquil riverside, the devil's crossroads. Anywhere with my wife and kids. The wide community of design talent at my browser's address bar.

How do you build resilience into your work & company?

Survivalist design, requiring careful forethought and a lot of contingency planning. Worst case scenarios and unexpected failure modes are part and parcel with all interaction; to crib from Mythbuster Adam Savage, failure is always an option. To fall gracefully is a skill I constantly have to practice and improve upon. The note on my monitor reads "Don't look down."

What keeps you up at night?

My blind spots. Fortunately, most of the action in today's culture is related to technology, which I keep a careful eye on, but at a certain point I get myopic, viewing through this lens. Missing the boat is a definite recurring nightmare.

What gets you up in the morning?

Not to sound too pessimistic, but having a poor short-term memory helps ease the sting.

How is your work cross-cultural?

Culture is harder to get a bead on as the world grows more homogenous with every stretch of broadband cable laid, but I like to think my work crosses cultural boundaries by serving the content. If the message can transcend sociological differences, hopefully so will the design.


A graphic designer for 17 years, (13 of those online), I now find myself designing user experience for the Sun Storage 7000 series as part of the Fishworks team, an iconoclastic software development team within Sun Microsystems.

Posts by Todd Patrick

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