︎︎ Sep 16, 2021 ︎︎

Great design starts with writing

            When we’re excited about what we’re creating, it is easy to get lost in the process. Pursuing possibilities that reveal themselves halfway through. Being led astray by the capabilities of our tools and technologies. Or just losing track of “the why” that we set out from in the first place.

The best method for doing great design work is writing. In prose. Not in bullet points, not wireframes, not diagrams, and never spreadsheets. There are no interferences and constraints other than the original outset when writing.

The lack of a cohesive, sensible narrative makes it a bore to read and the experience of writing it painful. And there’s a good chance that if you can’t write the narrative in prose, the end result will be hard to understand and even harder to sell.

All the things we deliberately or unconsciously brush over when thinking about a design become not just a slight pause but debilitating to reading it later.

Inconsistencies stand out like a sore thumb. Blind spots become empty spaces on the page. The essential ties together seamlessly, while the superfluous has to be forced in.

You can’t hide a bad idea behind aesthetics, and if the true motivation is really just attention through novelty, then great, more power to you, write it down and commit to it.

And this is the true value: it forces the work to be honest. Honest design is good design.