I was talking, the other day, to an acupuncturist friend of mine, and I asked him how he heals people. He told me that he doesn’t heal people. He introduces small interventions that change the flow of energy in the body, allowing the body to heal itself.

In software, we think about user flows rather than energy flows. We know that if we make something easier to do, more people will do it. This alone sounds obvious, but it’s surprising how sensitive this relationship is. Small changes in design can create big changes in behavior. I remember, when I was working at Google, we would make a button just a little bit more visible, and millions more people would click on it. It felt like magic.

Or perhaps I should say that it felt like acupuncture.