You Need to Write

Jeffrey Zeldman Avatar“I do think it’s true that designers need to write, and UX people need to write, and developers need to write. (…) I think that when you share your knowledge, there’s always people who learn from it. There’s always someone who’s going to learn from it. And I think that’s just a great way to advance your career, and -more importantly- give back, you know, and be part of the community.”

Jeffrey Zeldman on The Big Webshow, episode #53. 5by5

As often, I agree with Mr. Zeldman’s point here. It’s not always easy to find time, and even harder to find something interesting to say. This web site illustrates both issues nicely. But even more important than advancing your career or giving back to the community is the fact that writing makes you order your thoughts and really focus on your subject. Writing does many things, from introducing you to the community, to making you a better designer, to making you re-think the ‘truths’ that you live by. Writing is to a designer what going for a jog is to an athlete.

Since 1995 (!), Mr. Zeldman leads by example at Zeldman.com. Here’s a link to a blog post about this very subject: “One blog post is worth a thousand portfolio pieces”. And if you are just looking for an entertaining, well written story, check out “Cameron Diaz and Me”. There’s much more enjoyable reading to be found there, so click around, get inspired and then head over to your blog or pull out your journal and write something of your own.

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Content should be appropriate

There’s really only one central principle of good content: it should be appropriate for your business, for your users, and for its context. Appropriate in its method of delivery, in its style and structure, and above all in its substance. Content strategy is the practice of determining what each of those things means for your project—and how to get there from where you are now.
{Erin Kissane – A Checklist for Content Work}

Further Reading: http://www.alistapart.com/articles/a-checklist-for-content-work/

Manual to the world #5

It’s been a while since I’ve posted an entry in my recurring Friday’s Manual to the World series.  This one doesn’t require many words.

I really like how the scale of the map is marked in hours instead of miles.  Make sure to go and check the rest of Fuchsia Macaree’s work!  That way you can still procrastinate a bit before the weekend without getting lost in the Bermuda triangle!

Via: swiss-miss

Further Reading: Fuchsia Macaree

Storm King Art Center

Yesterday, Laura and I went to Storm King Art Center. Only an hour north of New York City this sculpture park is a great place to enjoy fall foliage and escape the city for a few hours.

As big fans of Andy Goldsworthy we especially enjoyed his works. That’s right, works! if you’ve been to Storm King you will remember his famous piece, Storm King Wall (1998).

This year he added another work to the collection, Five Men, Seventeen Days, Fifteen Boulders, One Wall (2010). This work is smaller in scale, but the concept is similar to Storm King Wall, because of the title it forces you to think about the resources that go into creating sculptures of this size.

After seeing the amazing Goldsworthy documentary, Rivers and Tides, I was already really impressed with the scale of his work and the patience he has in creating it.  What I like most about site specific, outdoor sculptures is how they change with the seasons.  This is especially true for Goldsworthy’s work.  How spectacular must the Storm King Wall look when it’s covered in snow, snaking through the forest and disappearing into a frozen pond?  Too bad the park is closed for the winter season…  There’s always Google image search but that’s just a meager substitute for the real experience.

Of course there is much more to enjoy at Storm King than Goldsworthy’s work, even the park itself is so beautifully landscaped it’s worth the trip north.  Visit the Storm King Art Center website and start planning a visit!

For more pictures, check out Laura’s blog.