Are design articles ruining your product?

over 6 years ago from Jake Fleming, Lead Designer @ Labelbox

  • Corin EdwardsCorin Edwards, over 6 years ago

    But, articles written by well-known companies and designers that shit on tools that actually do a pretty good job at ensuring a decent design as long as you use them correctly, are damaging to the design community, especially designers new to the industry. These articles limit new designers' perceived options for solving a problem, because of another team's failure to utilize a tool correctly.

    This seems like a pretty weaselly argument to me.

    You've already decided that celebrity elites are shitting on your preconceived notions, and you're angry that their opinions are wrong.

    Damaging to the community? Really?

    If these people are wrong then they're nothing more than mistaken. Their opinions are down on paper and ready to be challenged in the marketplace of ideas. Presuming that a tool can't be flawed is just as narrow an outlook.

    0 points
    • Jake FlemingJake Fleming, over 6 years ago

      Here's an analogy:

      Say, I'm looking for a book. You work in a library right? You can help me. I'm counting on you. I don't know much about libraries other than they've got books, computers, late fees. Stuff like that. I just know I want a book to read that helps me learn how to make a kite. Here's your advice to me:

      "One book you should definitely not read is 'Making Kites'. I read that book, made up my own design and didn't check it with the book's design and my kite didn't fly! It was stupid! I talked to this other guy that did the same thing. You should never read that book."

      A person who has also read that book and over hears our conversation might say:

      "Wow, that is really bad advice. It doesn't even seem like you read that book. I read that book, followed the directions and my kite flies great. You should really learn how to follow the directions in that book before you give advice to people on whether or not they should read it."

      If you still aren't getting my argument, please read on.

      I brought up well-known designers and companies, because they have a larger influence in the design community. That's just a fact. Newer designers read these articles that are saying this or that tool sucks, because I sucked at using it and say to themselves, "Oh I guess that tool sucks." They might go on with their day/foreseeable future never considering that tool again until they encounter its proper use in the wild or are asked about their opinion on that tool in an interview. Often times that leaves them looking like a dummy, especially if they give the opinion and reasoning from some of these articles. So yeah, it's damaging. Really. Absolutely. 100%.

      I work with new designers every single day who are looking to seasoned designers for guidance. A lot of the time, that guidance is found in a blog article. There are so many articles, enough to prompt me to start this discussion, that advocate to not use personas (or another tool/method) because the person trying to use them just made something up and then made a bunch of decisions without validating those assumptions throughout the process. I'd really love to hear your thoughts on how this is good advice.

      Tools have flaws. All of them. I'm not arguing to not write articles about the flaws of design tools. I'm arguing to not give shitty advice.

      It really is an amazing time to be a designer. I'm glad so many people are writing about design and I truly believe all of the articles I come across are written to be helpful. However, I think some of them fail at being helpful to their readers.

      6 points