Some thoughts about my creative process.
- Design influences: atomic design, card design, iOS, Google's Material Design, frameworks, Bootstrap, WAI-ARIA, accessibility, 508 standards, Tufte
- The product designer's craft is knowing when to follow best practices and use standards -- and when to innovate.
- Storytelling ethos and content strategy: Everything has a story arc, settings, characters, voices, points of view.
- Step order matters. Pick the soil before the seeds.
- The primary question asked by UX, journalism, and psychology: What's NOT being said?
- UX is ultimately about listening to people who think differently. (The tech is the easy part.)
The UX Process
Ultimately the best process is the one that fits an organization's culture (versus a one-size-fits-all approach). Defining that process is an essential part of the initial discovery process itself.
That said, here are some approaches I think about:
Simplicity vs. Complexity
“There's no limit to how complicated things can get, on account of one thing always leading to another.”
― E.B. White
“There is no greatness where there is not simplicity, goodness, and truth.”
― Leo Tolstoy
“Our life is frittered away by detail. Simplify, simplify.”
― Henry David Thoreau
“It is not a daily increase, but a daily decrease. Hack away at the inessentials.”
― Bruce Lee
“Authors should use common words to say uncommon things. But they do just the opposite. We find them trying to wrap up trivial ideas in grand words, and to clothe their very ordinary thoughts in the most extraordinary phrases, the most far-fetched, unnatural, and out-of-the-way expressions."
― Arthur Schopenhauer
“Any intelligent fool can make things bigger, more complex, and more violent. It takes a touch of genius—and a lot of courage to move in the opposite direction.”
-- E. F. Schumacher, economist
“Simplicity is the final achievement. After one has played a vast quantity of notes and more notes, it is simplicity that emerges as the crowning reward of art.”
-- Frédéric Chopin
“Modern technology can be complex, but complexity by itself is neither good nor bad: it is confusion that is bad. Forget the complaints against complexity; instead, complain about confusion. We should complain about anything that makes us feel helpless, powerless in the face of mysterious forces take away control and understanding.”
-- Don Norman, Living with Complexity
“Simplicity is prerequisite for reliability.”
― Edsger W. Dijkstra, computer scientist
“Do you think the wren ever dreams of a better house?”
― Mary Oliver, American poet
“Spurn everything that is added on by way of decoration and display by unnecessary labour. Reflect that nothing merits admiration except the spirit, the impressiveness of which prevents it from being impressed by anything.”
― Seneca, Letters from a Stoic
“I made up my mind long ago to follow one cardinal rule in all my writing — to be clear. I have given up all thought of writing poetically or symbolically or experimentally, or in any of the other modes that might (if I were good enough) get me a Pulitzer prize. I would write merely clearly and in this way establish a warm relationship between myself and my readers.”
― Isaac Asimov
“Truth is ever to be found in simplicity, and not in the multiplicity and confusion of things.”
― Isaac Newton