#DESIGN

How to convince your design team to write

About two years ago, when I joined my organization as a storyteller, my life revolved around blogs and social media marketing. I continued doing what I was doing for a good one year and gradually my role shifted more towards helping our design team articulate their thoughts via blog posts.

Since past one year, I have been trying to fit into their life (and desks)– coaxing them to write more and read even more. Why? Because they are fucking awesome and do brilliant work day in and day out – the world needs to know about their approach to work. But it isn’t easy — our designers are always thinking of how to create designs for apps that impact users positively. Ahem..being shy could be another reason too.

So I faced a lot of resistance. I remember, every time I pushed them to write about their thought process, there was a very loud voice in the back of my head that said, “Maybe you’re asking too much. They are designers, not writers. Maybe you’re going too far. Why don’t you just take it easy?”

There is one particular instance that I remember. I had hijacked one of team member’s seat and was preaching them on writing effective micro-copy. Asif was sitting next to me and was discussing dashboard design with his peers. I doubt if he really wanted to take my opinion, or wanted to me shut the fuck up, but he asked for my opinion on the design. Long after the discussion subsided I went back to him and said- “hey Asif! I was just thinking maybe you could write something about designing good dashboards and how careful consideration is required in selecting each element. I mean if you have faced it, I am sure there are other designers as well who dwell upon it. I am sure this will be a lot of help to other designers.”

Result Principles to Design Informative Dashboards

Score!

Another day, another incident- the team had just come back from a team outing to mountains. They were happily discussing the trip and sharing photographs. I smelled happiness and poked my nose- “Hey, that sounds like a good story. Would anyone of you be interested in writing about it?”

Expectation? Hey, great idea! You’re amazing!

 

Reality? Disperse! Leave! She’s driving me bananas!

Jokes apart here’s the Result Why every designer needs to discover the nature

The art of persuasion, I tell you! I’m good at it.

Nevertheless, I have strong reasons to believe that they still hate me for my annoying presence (I eat all their food, I poke my nose in their matters, they are the happiest bunch when I am on a vacation).

But recently, they offered me to join them in their team outing, (omg! happy tears 😢) So, the left side of my brain offers me this reasoning-

The good humans of our team have acquired an understanding that writing is important to share ideas about design. And, if they can’t put their creative work in words or can’t talk at length about the difficult choices they made in design decisions, then how do they spread the idea virus that even though good design makes everything possible, it’s hard.

Okay, I lie. Insanely hard!

But there are times when even I am at crossroads with the idea of writing. I am a writer and I know how hard it is to stitch words together with the right tone. Writing, as a skill, takes time to build up.

So here’s how I advocate the idea of writing to my design team, without impeding their work output-

Write about what flames your thoughts

Write whatever flames your mind

Writing is not just about wrangling with words. It’s about channeling your thoughts. Or, sometimes when you are clueless, writing helps you find your spark. So, write when something inspires you, write when something drains you.

You wonder why? Because writing helps you connect the missing pieces of a puzzle. Be it struggling with a particular approach to problems or applying design methods in your work, it helps you understand how different pieces add up to complete the puzzle.

Write about the design workshop/training you just attended

Designers write about what they learn

Sharing is caring. So, go ahead and write about your takeaways from that session. It will help you assimilate whatever you have learned and helped others take inspiration from your learning. So write about it, no matter cliched it sounds. You never know who reads it and gets to learn from it.

Another source of inspiration could be the design rituals that you do at your organization- for instance, we have the SHOW & TELL meetings and the Ignite workshops at Quovantis. Because these are internal to the organization, writing about such things is always a good idea. You never know who would want to team up with you after reading about all the processes you follow- could be future teammates or partners!

Write about any new tool/design method you just learned

tools designers use

Tutorials, tips and tricks, and opinionated pieces are a great source of information for every designer- beginner or experienced. You can also write about what’s obsolete in the design world (example: Why Lorem ipsum is the word we don’t talk about anymore ) or what’s back from the grave (example: Why Gradients are back to rule in 2018).

One of our designer, Asif, wrote about his decade-long experience in the Design industry and it was a great source of inspiration for everyone in the team. Similarly, there is so much that you can write as well- which courses helped you become a better user experience designer or which books saved you in the times of distress.

Write about anything which inspires you

what inspires you as a designer

As a creative person, a lot of things can amaze you, inspire you, move you- all you just have to do is keep your eyes open. So write about anything that held your attention. One of our designers, Varsha, wrote about keeping a hobby as a side hustle. The blog doesn’t talk about any design trend but it’s casual, fun and much human.


I really feel writing about your experiences is much easier than entering into that rabbit hole of Googling and searching for trending articles. Instead, find what interests you and just write!

I hope this helps other designers who are looking for writing prompts.

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