More Than a List of Flaws

this too shall pass

January 2nd, 2023

I feel like all the communication around design is pretty bloated. Medium is dying under filler articles speaking about the same basic things again again, where the only important part seems to give a little bit of visibility to its author. Add to that the paywall behind the number of articles you can read on Medium and it's getting harder and harder to know what is interesting to read in the end. Hence why I decided to stop almost anything coming from Medium, because the ratio of time spent on it versus things I could learn from the articles were way too low.

Unfortunately I feel like there's a gap to fill that we are a bit lost on how to feel. The easy part of our job is easy to be found (and honestly, made to look way too easy that it's becoming ridiculous), the hard part is through academic papers or heavy books, but we seem to suffer from a lack of middle level informations (where most of the time you end up on the NN Group website or Carine Lallemand book anyway).

I can see two parts about this absence of middle-ground. First one is the infamous impostor syndrome. Being honest, I often want to share about my day to day job, techniques and things like that, but I always feel that I won't find a clear way to express it or that I won't be as rigorous as some of us want to be (looking at you academic side).

The second one is that most of us in a medior or senior position are blocked by so many NDA that it's simply not legally possible to write about our daily works, even when we tackle mondain problems that every one of us might encounter one day or the other. This is especially true in enterprise UX and in-house applications: most of the problems we encounter are shared by other companies, but we're not allowed to discuss it. So we tend to oversimplify, to erase the experience part to provide with basic rules that lack the clarity that might be provided by experience.

I'm a bit lost on how we could tackle this problem but I feel we should both challenge the mandatory-NDA mentality for projects that don't bring any commercial advantage or anything and also be more open and dare to share our experience. But by sharing our experience, we have to admit the truth that design evolve and is different in every setting, that rigorous theoretical rules and systems often make no sense in the face of reality (looking at you quadruple sapphire process or whatever). I hope we all might evolve toward a more open future for our profession and in a more qualitative way, while staying open minded and kind.

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Simon - Nithou

Simon - Nithou

UX Whatever • Destroying the world one pixel at a time • Undercover Belgian in Paris • Reformed Gifted Child • Depressive Author • Dad of two cats • 🏳️‍🌈🇪🇺