Tips & Benefits of Writing About Design

Some tricks of the trade from someone who pretends to know what he’s talking about

Before I start this article, let me tell you that I am a charlatan. I am in no way a literary genius, I in no way, expect people to think I know what I am talking about. These are merely my musings following some articles I have recently written on Medium about my design processes.

It gives you confidence to articulate in the real world…

This is probably the biggest benefit I’ve found since my recent nosedive into writing. I have found, since I’ve started writing that I am so much more confident when trying to articulate my thoughts in the real world. It’s brought a calmness to my thought process when trying to explain myself. Obviously, writing is a very different approach to actually speaking, but I have found myself to be a lot clearer thinking when it comes to explaining myself in the real world since I started writing. I seem to be able to articulate my thoughts a lot clearer without the usual panic I have when people are staring at me awaiting my words of wisdom. If anything, it’s always good to be proactive, it keeps the mind stimulated.

It makes it look like you know what you’re on about…

From an external business perspective: it’s always good to show people that you know what you’re talking about, or at least pretend to know what you’re talking about. It gives an air of 'oh, he used some weird designer buzzwords there, he knows his shit’.

Add another string to your portfolio bow…

Having a collection of musings alongside your design work allows you to use your writing skills as another portfolio piece. It allows you to push another skillset to potential employers or clients that helps reinforce the fact that you know what you’re talking about. People love that kinda thing.

You’ll grow in confidence, what’s not to love…

1. Choose a subject that is helpful

This is obviously a very important thing to get right. Medium is inundated with regurgitated articles about 'Should designers code?’ or 'UX: Why we are so important’. Codswallop. I’m sick of reading the same thing over and over. People want to read articles that are useful, that will help you get a step ahead of the rest. When choosing an topic, try to make it about something people can learn from.

2. Make it lightweight

Don’t pretend you’re something that you’re not by trying to be too clever. Try to keep it light, fun and educational. Don’t write an article that takes 20 mins to read. It will turn people off straight away. If possible, crack a joke in the opening paragraph, or at least set up the general tone. People come to Medium to get some relief from their work day for a few minutes. They don’t want to feel like they’re reading Ulysses.

3. Include pretty imagery

I’m lucky enough to generally write about my work, which tends to include a lot of visual design so I overload my articles with illustrations. Saying that, I’ve pretty much blanked this tip in this article, which is probably why no one is looking at it…

4. Choose a punchy title

The title is the first thing people will see, it has to be catchy, it has to draw the eye amongst all the other regurgitated design articles on Medium. Make sure that it explains that if they read your article, they will come away with some nuggets of information that they can use to feel superior to their peers. Everyone loves feelingsuperior. Also, if possible, put some work into the title banner image. First impressions are key.

The more articles you write the more comfortable you’ll become

Product Designer // Illustrator // Dublin, Ireland // www.alpowerillustrates.com