Hi! My name is Mills Baker. I'm a product design manager living in San Francisco, California with my wife, our dog, and an obxnoxious cat. I work at Quora, where we're trying to create a system that makes all the world's knowledge freely accessible to everyone. Come join us!
I've been online since eWorld and sent my first web site over FTP in 1997 after I learned HTML from Jonah Peretti in my hometown of New Orleans, LA. Since then, I've worked for Facebook, a few small startups, a massive retailer, a veterinary hospital, and myself, doing freelance web design. My full CV is here.
I started a blog called Meta is Murder in 2007, and over the years it developed a surprisingly large readership; people have liked posts on the imperative that design deliver value, how design and compromise relate, and the charisma of Steve Jobs. Here's a "best of" (puke, sorry, just trying to make this helpful!).
Objectivity and Art is one of a few posts I feel happy with. In it, I present what I believe is a fruitful, reliable means of approaching the evaluation of art's quality, and I try to relate the ultimate aims of all arts to coming virtual environments, assessing the affinity between art and technology. Nowadays I'm active on Quora, and much of my recent writing is there; I focus on topics from living with bipolar disorder (in treatment since 2000!) to music history to philosophy and, of course, technology. For even more writing, you can check out the Quora Design blog.
In general, I believe in applying pragmatism and critical rationalism to business, product, and organizational problems. I think epistemological caution —for example, distinguishing between different modes of thinking— is extremely important and should inform both how software is developed and how people should treat one another.
Recently I've been interested in the effects of technology on perennial human concerns and ignored or misunderstood instincts, needs, and feelings. I'm especially fascinated by online moralizing, othering, harassment, reduction, and similar norm-enforcing behaviors, and how network design influences them all. I'm also interested in UI innovation, especially involving the abstraction of complexity and the trade-offs involved in empowering users in various, sometimes non-obvious ways.
I've also appeared on Design Details, if you want to hear me rant!