July 4, 2023

Design & Writing

Design & Writing

Snapshots of my notebook

Design and storytelling are words often used together. There's a beginning, a middle, an end. I used to jump right into the middle—doodling, sketching, playing with colors. Fun, for sure. Effective? Maybe not.

I tried something different: writing it down. Not bullet points or slides, just plain prose. And it was revealing. For instance, my posture assistance device—seemed genius at first. Sleek, eco-friendly, even a bit tech-savvy. But writing about it, I found plot holes. Did it really need a flex sensor? And what about the carbon footprint of such features? The narrative didn’t lie; it stripped away the fluff.

When I write, I find I think more deeply. Inconsistencies first ignored become obvious on the page. A feature that seemed cool initially may reveal itself as a distraction. I've tried to steer clear of jargon, too.

Simple, honest words help me guide what I'm genuinely trying to do and for whom. If I find myself struggling while writing, it’s usually a signal to rethink the design. Writing provides a sort of raw, unfiltered confrontation with the idea.

Not to say that visuals are unimportant—quite the opposite. But writing, for me, is a foundation. It clarifies, exposes, and informs the process. A design that can’t be written down is, perhaps, a design that’s not fully understood yet. And who really wants that?

Great design begins with writing.

All good things end.