1 August 2015

Putting pixels to metaphorical paper

Scott, a friend and mentor 

Five weeks ago I was having an enjoyable lunch with a mentor, Scott Jenson, at the Slice restaurant on the Google campus in Mountain View, California. We were discussing my impending move to the UK to re-join my family and work at the London Google office where I would work on the Android Google app. I usually end up being inspired by Scott and this time he encouraged me to write about design on a regular basis, something he has had the discipline to do for many years now. Not only has it provided value to user experience designers around the world, it has provided a method of reflection on his recent work and helped him process the lessons he has learned. The challenge of putting these lessons into words being part of the process of distilling meaning from all the noise.

Time is valuable, we spend our lives at work managing it preciously and rushing from location to location in order that we do not waste any of our coworkers time. So the words on the blog need to be precious and full of value and meaning in order to provide sufficient value to make the reader's time worth it, right? Blimey, that's a lot of pressure. what can I possible write which is that valuable and worthy of your time? So writing paralysis sets in and besides, I have a list of blogs to catch up on from inspirational writes who actually have something meaningful to teach.

Scott warned me of this. The hardest thing is to start each time and then more often than not it is hard to stop and you have to go back and edit most of it for it to be readable. Scott also reminded me that while I am focused on designing the next release of the Google app, many of the concepts I now take for granted are still new and interesting for many readers out there.  That helps doesn't it? Doesn't that ease the pressure to consistently deliver design inspiration each time? In combat we learn to let our training take over and rely on our muscle memory to react faster than we can think, so maybe its time for me to get out of my own way in the writing process too.

What to expect

  • musings on life as a UX designer
  • Android and Google tips and tricks
  • an introduction to new Google product releases
  • my biased opinion on events in the tech world
  • too many metaphors from the world of martial arts

A call to action

My fellow design ninjas, we can try this together and sometimes come up with some small nugget of design inspiration each week. And sometimes not, but maybe in the end there will be enough for a book, maybe it will useful material for a talk, and if all else fails remember that you can always serve as a bad example. Join me in starting a design blog to help yourself grow a little more and maybe bring a little enlightenment and maybe even joy to others. Drop a link in a blog comment if you do, and we can go on this journey together.

Thanks Scott


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