Blowing hot air through internet pipes

By solle on 08/03/2013 — 2 mins read

People like writing about design. I think we can write about design forever. I think we can write about fixing things in design forever. People like fixing things in design. People like fixing things. User Experience Designers like writing about fixing things for users. There’s a lot of them writing a lot of about it. A lot of writing about it head on. And what is undoubtedly true is there is always a lot to write about it. Plenty of “I want to be the one who nails how to be the ultimate designer of x”. Most things are in some way broken and may never get fixed but when you have so so many people clamouring to write about the same/similar things in such a similar way, I think you will (generally) end up with diluted, dull and deadening results. Just broken states hobbling along being jabbed at in hope and frustration. Relatively common knowledge wrapped up as new insight — blowing hot air through internet pipes. Fixing things is what humans do. That’s what technology is for. And then more technology for fixing other technology. Not necessarily a bad thing. Some call it progress but progress is an abstract term. Change probably.

But. What might we be at the beginning of?

Are we content with just fixing things? Why are we content with just churning out repeats of the same UX discussions? Reading them often gives me the feeling of watching endless 80s TV repeats on UK Gold. At times there seems so much navel gazing we are all at risk of permanently bowed heads. Why aren’t we asking enough questions of what we might be at the beginning of? What might come next? More of us need to be poking around at the edges of design. Reading up beyond our horizons. Willing to take small risks. Turn over some stones. But not trying to be too clever (no one likes a smart arse). I want to see less waving of library cards, more poking at stuff with a stick. More people need to try their hand at writing about design without trying to arrive at grand conclusions but being happy just to drive through various ideas and see if along the way anything good comes of it. The future of design needs edge cases. If everyone stands in the middle ground the future could be pretty dull.


//somewhere in england


I am a user centred design leader working across senior design leadership teams and user centred design operations. I work across a wide range of digital services within the public, private and not for profit sectors.