Why I write
I'm writing to share with you two reasons why I write.
Writing helps me organize my thoughts.
I recently came across a quote that said, "Writing is the process by which you realize that you do not understand what you are talking about. Importantly, writing is also the process by which you figure it out." Honestly, I can't count the number of times I've felt stuck on something until I started writing about it. At first, my writing wasn't great, but it helped me process information and identify gaps in my understanding.
As part of my coaching calls, I talk to many designers who want to start writing. Some of them believe that there's a big mystery around writing, but to be honest, writing is just like anything else you try for the first time. You just need to start.
Just write and let the words flow.
Years ago, there was a big debate in our community about whether or not designers should learn to code (I almost hesitated to bring it up, as it was quite controversial). However, I do believe that designers, especially product designers, should write.
The second reason is something that you are probably more familiar with: readers like yourself. I get inspired by reading feedback on my writing, and I really appreciate it when my writing is helpful to anyone in their career. So this week, I wanted to share some of my past writing that has received the most positive feedback over the years.
Stakeholder interviews: asking the right questions
When working with Herman Miller, the project kicked off with me conducting a dozen stakeholder interviews to get an aligned vision of what we're looking to build. To be honest, I was a bit anxious because I hadn't done a ton of stakeholder interviews before, and never at this scale. It turns out that many people experience this same anxiety when asked to do stakeholder interviews, and they have emailed me to let me know how much this post helped them structure and conduct better interviews!
Why Designers Need to Speak Business
Based on reader feedback, this post is one of the most appreciated. It's clear that it resonated with many designers who are fighting for their place within organizations that may not always value design but instead value flashy aesthetics. Design serves a purpose.
I won't spoil anything else, so take a read and let me know if you agree or not!
Creating a UX Strategy
When I started a major UX project within IKEA, I felt lost. Although the team was huge, with around 70 people, there were only a few of us on the UX team. I've always believed that UX is a joint effort where engineers have as much impact on the UX as designers. However, I felt that there was no shared vision among us.
To address this, I spent about a week creating a presentation that outlined what I believed UX is (and what it isn't), and defined some core principles that we should adhere to.