10 Reasons Why All Designers Should Start Writing More

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The new habits you’ll start doing & the career benefits you’ll get from them.

For the past year I set a goal to start writing more, to share my knowledge with the design community. Rather than bottling them up in private journals. Since doing so, I noticed new habits developing that turned out to be very beneficial in my design career. So the following points are ones of encouragement. Here’s 10 reasons why writing more will benefit you as a designer.

1. Reasons to talk to someone you normally wouldn’t feel comfortable to.

Writing will give you a reason to talk to someone that you might otherwise feel uncomfortable to approach. It could be a lead from a different department or even someone on twitter. Its a lot easier to approach people when you’ve got a specific reason to. For example, you might ask for their insights around something you’re writing about.

In my experience, people I perceived as daunting were actually very welcoming. If you’re sparking a conversation in their interests and showing curiosity in their knowledge, they’ll be happy and excited to chat with you.

2. Dribbble shows your style, but writing reveals your mind.

They say “a picture can tell a thousand words” but thats not always the case. Dribbble and Behance are fantastic channels to show your visual design skills and style, however this isn’t enough for UX.

UX is about your way of thinking, your processes and ability to work through what I like to call ‘non-sexy problems’. So write about it, reveal your mind to the world. You never know who might be reading. Someone who wants to team up with you? Potential future employers?

3. You’ll find yourself researching more into a breadth of different topics.

When I’m working on an piece of writing, I’ll usually fall into this infinite rabbit hole of googling. One topic leads to another, which leads to another. You’ll end up with an endless list of topics, articles and podcasts to absorb in your free time. This extra knowledge can spark new ideas down the track.

Tip: If you’re writing about something controversial or highly debated, it’s important to learn about both sides of the augment. This will help you make an educated and open minded comment.

4. Build trust and better communication with clients.

Even though design is a visual industry, writing will always play a vital role. Whether its writing a slide deck, a presentation, storytelling or emailing clients. Great copy will go alongway as it shows competence and allows you to get the message across clearly.

If writing isn’t your forte, you can use text editors such as Hemmingway and Grammarly to check your work. The more you review your writing, the sooner it will become second nature.

5. ‘UX Writing’ will help your users.

Speaking to the point above, not only is writing useful for internal communications, but it’s a UX role in its self. Companies such as Google and Amazon employ UX writers. It’s their role to create copy that helps a user understand the task at hand.

Although, you don’t need to be exclusively employed as one to do this. Google has written wonderful guidelines for UX writing. Just having that knowledge will allow you to create better user experiences.

6. Connect with the design community.

Having a platform online opens up a new means of communication with people. Go ahead, have a little stalk of the people following you. Is there anyone interesting that you want to reach out to?

Did you really enjoy an article? Then tell them! Everyone deserves positive acknowledge for their efforts. That response might be the difference between them continuing writing or giving up. Continue to be active in discussions and engage with others.

Did a designer that you admire share your work or liked the post? Take that opportunity to reach out and say thank you. You’re allowed to fangirl over it. I certainly do!

7. It allows you to collate your thoughts in a formalised way.

Lets say you’ve scribbled down a few notes about a subject. These might be scattered across different sticky notes and pages in your notebook. Now this might not be for everyone, but I find formalised writing helpful. It allows you to collate your thoughts and document what you’ve learnt. Similar to what I’m doing right now…

8. It thickens your skin for criticism.

Its extremely hard to put yourself out there when making your work public. Theres always a risk that people may disagree with you or challenge your ideas. Yet part of being a designer is having the ability to handle criticism and take it in a constructive way.

Just remember, theres a difference between criticism and trolling. People will always say things online that they would never say to your face. Ignore them and power on with it.

9. Improve how and what you’re saying through editing, restraint and self critiques.

Writing improves how and what you’re saying, thought the art of editing, restraint and honest self critiques. What is the most value information to the readers? Whats necessary to say? What isn’t? This is useful when speaking to clients or replying to curly emails. The art of editing will also benefit your verbal communications. Lets face it, sometimes we tend to speak before we think.

10. Medium allows us to learn from others, this is your chance to give back.

I’ve learnt a lot from other designers sharing their knowledge and I’m very thankful for that. So I want to pass on the information I know to help others. This of course is easier said than done.

It takes courage to do so, and I think we all experience classic ‘imposter syndrome’ at times. But look at it from the perspective of releasing a product or showing the first iteration of a design. We’re always learning and improving.

I’ll leave you with this reminder.

You might feel as though writing isn’t worth it because there’s people out there who know way more than you. Although, there will always be people who know less than you.

The knowledge you share will be reaching at least one person in a meaningful way, so don’t worry. Write for them, and write for you. Write for the 10 reasons I’ve stated above.

Source: https://blog.prototypr.io/10-reasons-why-all-designers-should-start-writing-more-f34646a6e06b by Alana Brajdic