• Sean LesterSean Lester, over 3 years ago

    Not about to take this seriously. "Designers should write" is the new "designers should code."

    Don't get me wrong, writing is a skill I actually have and I see the value of being a designer who can consider and even write important product microcopy and content. I'm much more likely to pick up writing than coding as a supplementary skill. My problem here is with the absolutist terms.

    Designers should code or write IF they have the aptitude and IF it makes sense for them to spend their time doing that in their role at their company. We, for example, have a copywriter. If I were to spend my time writing copy vs. doing what I'm more specialized to do I would be wasting everyone's time. Sure, I try and write decent placeholder copy so that the copywriter can get the gist/intention and sometimes she just tweaks what I've written. Still, to say that's necessary as a part of my role or what makes me a "good designer" is nonsense.

    Skills aren't transferable, and the expectation that every designer be a polymath is unreasonable. Many organizations have the resources and the need for designers who spend their time only doing design. I've yet to be at a company that didn't have more design work than the design team could ever do. Picking up a skill in a field that requires a different way of thinking, or in the case of coding ALSO requires a dedication to lifelong learning of new technology, new best practices, new languages etc. if you're going to be competent and up-to-date — it just doesn't sound like the best use of a designers time in many jobs. In others, maybe you're talking about a small shop or startup where wearing multiple hats and putting in late nights constantly is necessary. Again, there are just no absolutes here. You'll be more valuable if you can do these things — sure. You'd also be more valuable if you could be CEO, but no one asking that designers pick up CEO skillsets. It's not even unrelated! You'd be in a much better position to create a consistent and true product with the designs you coded by yourself and wrote all of the copy for if you're also the decision maker!

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    • Jonathan ShariatJonathan Shariat, over 3 years ago

      Thanks for writing this. Were you able to listen to the episode?

      Our main points are:

      1. Writing about what you learn helps you grow as a designer/person

      2. Writing effective copy for your UI will help you create better experiences.

      3. Investing time to learn to write better will be fruitful in your work and life.

      We start off the show by saying its not a "unicorn skill" just one of the skills designers use and important in many ways.

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      • Chris LChris L, over 3 years ago

        I guess using an intentionally provocative headline was a bad idea... ¯_(ツ)_/¯

        1 point
      • Sean LesterSean Lester, over 3 years ago

        As Chris L points out, the "did you actually listen to it" defense isn't a great one — your headline should reflect the content. I'm sure you made good points based on what you've written here, and I understand that provocative headlines seem necessary in the attention economy.

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