I’m taking a break

Today was my 100th newsletter - an accomplishment that I’m quite proud of. However, I’ve been thinking a lot about the future of this newsletter and my website lately. What role does it fill in my life? Is blogging part of where I want to take my career? Where DO I want to take my career? Big questions. Honestly, I’ve been unable to point my finger at what is really bothering me.

When I started blogging 3 years ago, I was unaware that it would lead to more than 200 blog posts, two books, and nearly 1000 subscribers (I started my list with 14 friends who I signed up without them knowing - sorry). My posts have been shared by publications I admire like uxdesign.cc, UX Booth, Adobe, Invision, Prototypr.io, UXDesign Weekly as well as by people who influence me like Brad Frost and Josh Clark. That was incredibly validating.

Maybe I’m losing steam…?

Lately, these blog posts haven’t come to me spontaneously. It turns into something a bit exhausting. I’ve felt pressured to write clever things and I guess I haven’t been feeling all that clever. Last night, I read a couple of lines by Cait Flanders that instantly spoke to me:

Now, it feels like every platform(blogs, social, etc.) is a place for people to shout and be heard. We have been told we need to build, grow, make money and have all the answers. We need to be experts.

I don’t want to be an expert. I just want to be a human. Why I’m retiring from personal blogging

The downside of having success - if you can call posts being shared all over the Internet a success-is that when you write posts that aren’t shared, you consider them to be poorly written or without a worthy subject. You are constantly wondering if success was a fluke. I started to feel increasingly out of control with how posts would perform - an added pressure.

So I’ve considered some options:

Should I remove all analytics from my website? That way I’d be ignorant whether a post is read by tens of thousands of people or by ten? Not to mention, it’d be for a better Internet as a whole. That wouldn’t work because I really enjoy knowing who reads my stuff. I think one of the great things about the Internet is that it allows all of us to connect and analytics area way for me to connect with who ever spent time on my site.

Should I stop writing and just share these bite-sized posts that require far less thinking? I could, but I KNOW that I’ve become a better designer through writing these posts. I think all designers should write. Hell, I think EVERYONE would benefit from writing more. Especially to those who think, “I don’t know how to write.” Just write. It doesn’t have to be perfect. It doesn’t have to be great. It doesn’t have to be even mildly good. It just has to be you! Share it with everyone or keep it to yourself - you decide. You WILL see the benefit and will grow from it.

So what’s going to happen?

Truth be told, I don’t really know. I’m sometimes thinking of a new book on some of the topics I’m currently finding most interesting(Future of AI, Ethics in design). I enjoyed the process of writing the last two books and would love to do it again, but it has to have an audience that would appreciate it. Let me know if that’s something you’d be interested insee me do.Yes, your opinion matters!

So if you’re reading this on my blog, expect fewer(I guess?) long-form posts in the coming weeks. If you’re reading this through my newsletter, expect a different format in a few weeks. I have some ideas, but it’s likely going to vary from time to time in the coming weeks and, again, your input is highly appreciated.

A couple of personal reflections to end with:

  • I’m currently working on a very large project as a UX Specialist. It’s a very new type of role for me and I’ve been spending a lot of time in Excel and Powerpoint lately. Who would have thought? It’s extremely frustrating at times but it’s also allowing me to experience a completely new side of UX design which is scary and fascinating.
  • Finding great people for projects is really hard. I’ve interviewed a lot of people lately.
  • This is the first year since the iPhone 5S that I won’t upgrade.
  • I’m still unsure if I prefer Spotify over Apple Music or not.
  • I’m currently reading “It doesn’t have to be crazy at work”. I’m really liking it.

These are my most shared posts (in case you missed one):

AI Ethics - A New Skill for UX-Designers
The future of the UX-Designer
Why Designers Need to Write
A Redesign
Designer Ethics & The Moral Implications of our Apps
Be the Butcher not the Supermarket
Chasing Growth
UX Design Explained
New Tools Don’t Always Equal Productivity
The Fundamentals of Good UX

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Books

User Experiences that Matter (2016)
Mastering Freelance (2017)

If You're Getting Started in UX

What's a 'User Experience' Anyways?
How Do You Learn UX?
Working as a UX Designer

Next Steps in UX

Working as a UX Lead
Defining a UX Strategy
Writing as Part of the UX Process

Thought-pieces

AI Ethics - A New Skill for UX-Designers
Designer Ethics & The Moral Implications of our Apps
The Future of the UX-Designer
Voice Input’s Effect on Social Norms

The Work We Do

Chasing Growth
New Tools Don’t Always Equal Productivity
Why Designers Need to Write
The Tools I Use to Run My Business

Featured Writing & Interviews Elsewhere

Q&A With Anton Sten, Author of User Experiences that Matter - Adobe
What the F*#!ck is a UX Designer anyway - Working not Working
It’s Time for a Code of Ethics for Designers - Medium Modus
The Art of Going Freelance - .Net Magazine
It Takes Time - Being Freelance episode 100

From My Newsletter

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UX of Email Newsletters

Working as a UX-lead

2018 in review

What’s my location?

I’m taking a break

Stay humble, stay eager

Back to Work!

Vanity Metrics

The Future of Retail

2017 review

What do you do?

Carpe Diem UX-designers

What´s Good Design?

Chasing Growth

A Redesign

Is Less More?

Why Simple is Hard

Pricing It Perfectly

Trusting Your Gut

Built to last

An Eye on the Future

UX Design explained

Bite-sized Posts

The Enemy

The Hot Potato Process

Leave the Phone at Home

Delight Comes Last

The Cost of Lies

Big Mood Machine

Simplicity is a war

The next iPhone

Leadership or management

Everyone should own a dog

Silence is gold

Cameras that understand

Humans, not users

Keeping AI Honest

Right to privacy

The State of UX in 2019

Why scrap scrappy?

Organized for browsing

The iPhone Franchise

Why Small Teams Win

The Bullshit Web

Just keep at it

Let them eat cake

Netflix Culture

Skype

Unfoundered

Tech is not Neutral

Productivity

Whose risk?

Why Small Teams Win

Phone Bored

Karim Rashid

Dieter Rams

Bleeding Out

Fake News is spam

Conversational Design

Dropbox

Bye bye Facebook

Cuba

The seat at the table

Givenchy

Love letters to trees

Pricing Philisophy

Specialize

Personas

Make me think

Hawaii Missile Alert

Why Design Systems fail

What You Build

Checkout for Winners

Living a Testing Culture

Creative Class

How To Predict Your Future

Github

Medium

Design quotes

Enough

Why?

ARKit

Designing for Mobile

Failure, Reflect, Renew

Growth

Working with me

Great user experience

Naming your icons

Conversations

All writing

Who’s listening?

The Enemy

The Hot Potato Process

Leave the Phone at Home

UX of Email Newsletters

Delight Comes Last

The Cost of Lies

Big Mood Machine

Simplicity is a war

The next iPhone

Working as a UX-lead

Leadership or management

Everyone should own a dog

Silence is gold

Cameras that understand

Humans, not users

Keeping AI Honest

Right to privacy

2018 in review

What’s my location?

The State of UX in 2019

Why scrap scrappy?

I’m taking a break

Organized for browsing

Stay humble, stay eager

The iPhone Franchise

Why Small Teams Win

Back to Work!

The Bullshit Web

Just keep at it

Let them eat cake

Netflix Culture

Skype

Unfoundered

Vanity Metrics

Tech is not Neutral

Productivity

Whose risk?

Why Small Teams Win

Phone Bored

Karim Rashid

Dieter Rams

Bleeding Out

Fake News is spam

Conversational Design

Dropbox

Bye bye Facebook

Cuba

The seat at the table

Givenchy

Love letters to trees

Pricing Philisophy

Specialize

Personas

Make me think

The Future of Retail

Hawaii Missile Alert

2017 review

Why Design Systems fail

What You Build

Checkout for Winners

Living a Testing Culture

What do you do?

Creative Class

How To Predict Your Future

Carpe Diem UX-designers

What´s Good Design?

Chasing Growth

Github

Medium

A Redesign

Design quotes

Enough

Why?

ARKit

Designing for Mobile

Is Less More?

Why Simple is Hard

Pricing It Perfectly

Failure, Reflect, Renew

Trusting Your Gut

Built to last

An Eye on the Future

Growth

Working with me

UX Design explained

Great user experience

Naming your icons

Conversations