Learn thinky things

Folks seem to like my latest bit of advice for aspiring designers: Learn Thinky Things. I coined this advice (with an unconscious assist from Marc Maron, I suspect) as part of an off-the-cuff remark during UX Content Office Hours. Someone asked whether content designers need to learn Figma, a popular tool for front-end design. I shared my response as a … Read more

It’s all made up, and that’s okay

Is content strategy … real? Product strategy? UX strategy? Customer experience? What about content design? Information architecture? Experience architecture? The answer to any of these, depending on my mood, is either yes, no, or who cares. Mostly, and most importantly, it’s “Who cares?”. Arguments about what “does and doesn’t exist” in design land to be … Read more

What is UX writing?

UX writing is less “writing, but apps” and more “design, but words”. What I mean by that is that UX writing is primarily a UX design specialization. UX writers typically focus on interface copy and language while working collaboratively as part of a design team on a specific product or feature, rather than working solo … Read more


A bit jarring to see one of the tools of my trade — customer journey maps — pop up in this article about the 737 Max and Boeing’s efforts to manage customer “anxiety” about their totally safe airplane that’s killed 346 men, women, and children. (So far.) I’ve been trying to imagine how it will … Read more

Sometimes the box is more fun

One of the first times I presented on ecosystem mapping, an attendee shared an image of their own map they’d been inspired to create. It was interesting, colorful, and information-rich. But also? It wasn’t what I’d call an ecosystem map. At first I worried about the quality and clarity of my presentation. But others shared … Read more

A smaller toolkit

The more you know, the less you carry. Mors Kochanski, wilderness survival expert. Writing and sketching. Card-sorting. Diagrams. Interviews. Spreadsheets. Workshops (structured ideation and synthesis). That’s my toolkit, more or less, for most design problems. The further I get into my career the more affinity I have for simple and sturdy intellectual tools that can … Read more

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