Over the years I've been developing a personal philosophy of sorts around my work. Here are some little thoughts that I carry around with me.
Brevity communicates respect for your audience. Keep it crisp.
Design is the process of expanding and then ruthlessly distilling ideas until they achieve clarity and solve the problem.
Empathy is at the heart of good design, good management, and good humanhood. Empathy should inform every step of the design process, whether it is empathy for the user, the client, the executive stakeholders, the developers, or your teammates.
Respect is empathy in action. Demand respectfulness from yourself and others.
Communication is the lifeblood of the organization. When it stops flowing, bad things happen.
Design is not art. Art's purpose is to express ideas; design's purpose is to solve problems.
Creativity comes in many forms. There's the raw creativity of the inspired individual. There's the creativity that emerges from a well-facilitated and focused workshop. There's the creativity lurking in a million corners of the internet. There's the creativity that gets built into a company's culture through rituals and respect for the design process.
Abstraction is your friend. Think like a coder throughout the design process. Build structures around the details, and keep modularity always in mind.
Assumptions are a necessary evil. They should be identified and validated as soon as possible.
Strive to remove all friction from the feedback loop. At all points in the process, make it easy for users to tell you what they want and need, and for your team to respond to that information.
Designers crave autonomy. Give it to them whenever possible.
Intentionality is the heart of design. Any of the thousands of design decisions that go into a project should be defensible by reference to a well-reasoned intent.
We're all humans here, with human feelings, problems, shortcomings, and circumstances. Never lose sight of that.
Meetings are great, until they aren't. Any meeting should have an agenda, a start and end time, and at least one objective. Otherwise, it may not need to be a meeting.
An employee who feels valued, respected, needed, appreciated, heard, and trusted will almost always go the extra mile for the company when called upon to do so.
In an increasingly connected workplace, clear boundaries are more important than ever.
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