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Discuss DN: More thoughts, less tools

over 7 years ago from , Product Designer at Pinterest

I've noticed that from the inception of the community, the submissions have slowly devolved from high-quality thought provoking content to cookie cutter tools, resources, and "beginner's guides" to design. It's a shame because the community that the design world needs, in my opinion, is one that cares more about thoughts and process than shiny tools to help us squeeze another buck out of Photoshop. Does anyone else feel the same way?

17 comments

  • Shawn BorskyShawn Borsky, over 7 years ago

    Agreed, but on the other hand, I think you over-estimate how much quality thought provoking content is produced per day. Personally, I think it needs to be moderate mix. Workflow is just as important to being a professional as is design philosophy or approach discipline. Either way, the up-vote system should weed out truly useless content.

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  • Emily Campbell, over 7 years ago

    I've noticed that there is a lot of duplicate content, so that the same tool may show up in my twitter feed via the bot several times in a row.

    I agree that there should be more discussion, but on the other hand, many [most?] of the articles that have been posted that inspire discussion or controversial thinking have their own active comment feed. Iits useful to keep comments in one place so they can be answered by or directed to everyone reading the article, most of whom don't yet have access to DN. As the user base expands, hopefully DN will naturally evolve to be a surrogate to those discussions.

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  • Nathan BashawNathan Bashaw, over 7 years ago

    Above all else, I want the content to be good. It doesn't matter much to me if it's theoretical or more practical. I agree that a lot of low quality "cookie cutter tools" and "beginner's guides" have emerged lately, and they're not good. But I still am interested in practical knowledge.

    "When art critics get together they talk about Form and Structure and Meaning. When artists get together they talk about where you can buy cheap turpentine." – Picasso

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  • Julius TarngJulius Tarng, over 7 years ago

    totes. lots of old links too. i found i've stopped coming here because the links simply aren't new/interesting anymore

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  • Zander BradeZander Brade, over 7 years ago

    This is so right.

    If we need help with something, Google it. I think Designer News should be strictly for news, thoughts and ideas, rather than tips.

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    • Falko JosephFalko Joseph, over 7 years ago

      Agreed, I've seen some very unique insights and inspirational posts around here which are quite a challenge to find sometimes.

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  • Joel CalifaJoel Califa, over 7 years ago

    I think the userbase is still too small to have meaningful discussions. HN also gets tons of posts with libraries and tools, but have enough users to create discussions around these tools. I've already seen a lot of deeper blog posts being posted here.

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  • Account deleted over 7 years ago

    I think that there could be an elegant way to filter certain types of content in and out of the homepage.

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  • Ryno van NiekerkRyno van Niekerk, over 7 years ago

    Im with you on having more design insights here, will definitely keep that in mind when posting in future, however I have found some excellent resources here , would be a shame to see those go away, I think a better balance would be a good way forward.

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  • Kelly SuttonKelly Sutton, over 7 years ago

    A lot of this might have to do with the algorithm we are using. We will need to make some refinements.

    Essentially, we value the time something is posted too heavily. This means that submitting a story guarantees is will be on the first page immediately. We may tone down the weight of dates to encourage the best things to rise to the top.

    We're not too worried about spam at the moment, so this is why we haven't tweaked things sooner. I am in full agreement that content on the site should center around discussions, new products/updates, and discussions around truly great blog posts.

    Also, DN turns 2 weeks old today!

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  • Kevin HaggertyKevin Haggerty, over 7 years ago

    While I agree with you in principle, there's always going to be a balance between the two types of postings you mention.

    I agree that we don't really need more of 'top 50 ways to organize your photoshop brushes'

    However, I'd still like to see really ground-breaking tools posted here, that advance the state of the art of web design.

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    • Justin Edmund, over 7 years ago

      +1 this. More of this, less of that means exactly that. I just mean that it would be nice if the balance were flipped :)

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  • Adam KissAdam Kiss, over 7 years ago

    Maybe it's because so many of us are always looking to perfect their workflows? New tools give you something actionable, something to try out, and (hopefully) improve, while thought provoking might make you much better person/designer in the long run, we are people afterall… And people like 'instant' results.

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    • Justin Edmund, over 7 years ago

      Perfecting your workflow comes with time and experience. Through making things, you'll get faster and smarter about how you use your tools.

      There's definitely a balance to be had between the actionable and the philosophical, and DN definitely shouldn't be entirely things that turn the world upside down. There is already a design community for pixels-first, thoughts-later. I'd hate for this to become a replica of that place.

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      • Adam KissAdam Kiss, over 7 years ago

        I'm not saying I'm pro-actionable or pro-philosophical, I was merely giving my opinion on why tools have such popularity (at the expense of the thought provoking articles).

        Regarding the balance (and the need of having it), I completely agree with you.

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  • Andreas PihlströmAndreas Pihlström, over 7 years ago

    Agree with you Justin.

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