The Human Focused Digital Book

Digital technology. It has crept into our lives, and so deeply has it penetrated us, that it has completely redesigned it. In the deep oceans and the high skies, it is now as elemental in our landscape as the wind and falling rain. It’s not going to stop. Due to the way civilisations progress, we are about to zip-line and observe more change in the next ten years, than of the last hundred. But how do we prevent this acceleration from eroding away our humanity? As technology becomes increasingly immaterial, ask this: does the technology we’ve created add more layers of confusion? When we strip away all the technology, what are we left with? The same thing we started with — people. Incorporating the psychological and philosophical fields into the design process, Pete Trainor takes us back to the fundamental questions, that drive us, and through a journey of design thinking, he asks one simple question, the one we have asked through all times… why?


Trainor's book should be required reading for all of us who work in digital. In a world where it's so easy to focus on the shiny things we build rather than the needs of the humans using them, and the outcomes we should be supporting, Hippo is a powerful reminder of the course we should be following.

The practical examples presented bring to life thoughtful reflections on the philosophy of design and the neurological principles that influence human psychology and our mental models — which sounds really complex, but is instead rendered accessible by Trainor's friendly tone and clarity of thinking.

Hippo contains a powerful message about us and our future — in the words of Thomas Watson, machines and technology aren't fitting substitutes for a lacking humanity, but should be (and will only be sustainable) if they are tools for extending the power of the humans that use them. It is only by asking different sets of questions and looking at digital tools as enablers of human outcomes rather than solutions to problems that often are of our creations that we'll be able to create a better world for everybody.

Profile Photo Pete Trainor

About Pete Trainor

Pete Trainor is a digital designer, public speaker, accidental polymath and founder of Nexus CX in London. He speaks all over the world on creative and social technologies and the physiological and psychological effects on their audiences. Pete regularly appears in UK national and international press as an analyst on digital media, creative industries, emergent technologies, and tech markets.

A vocal mental health campaigner, he calls for better use of technology to help men, women, children and teens in moments of crisis.

He has a very simple mantra: Don't do things better, do better things.

All books by Pete Trainor

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