#20: Design + Courage + Uncertainties
More explorations on where things are headed
I wrote this a few weeks ago while I was working on a project. I have been an on-off independent (or freelance) designer for years now but this era is quite different. By era, I meant the covid-19 period in the US and worldwide. This illustrated my thoughts as I reflect on how the last few months were… and more importantly, what the immediate future looks like.
For one thing, we were all forced to take a step back and really look into what is essential. Design, the profession I’ve come to love deeply, was no exemption. I’ve had a lot of time to really think about what it means to be a designer right now. More importantly, the changes I’ve been paying much more attention to:
There will be a few massive, industry-wide transformations that will create a ripple in how we live our lives now—and in the future: Healthcare, Education, Transportation, Real Estate, etc. Design & Engineering will play a huge part of on that. Read: COVID-19 has inspired global healthcare innovation, The Healthcare Innovation Bubble: Making The Most Of The COVID 19 Crisis
UX will be synonymous to CX. Pre-covid, this was already a widely explored topic. Most recently, technologist/designer John Maeda made a report about it. I, for one, am looking forward to this development. Read: CX Report 2020
The rise of the emerging interfaces will continue to rapidly progress into mainstream usage. They will no longer just be for early adopters, hobbyists and tech folks. Inevitably, a lot of us will transition and completely embrace the increasingly more ubiquitous 3D platforms, Voice UIs, Holograms and more. Read: Sony’s Spatial Reality Display, Looking Glass Portraits, You Can Go Back to the Office: You Just Need a Virtual Reality Headset
Content creation will get smarter and learning remotely will be the norm, for better or worse. With platforms such as Medium, Substack (where this newsletter is being hosted, thank you Substack!), Teachable, Skillshare and similar products, there’s never been a BETTER time to learn new things in various different and personalized formats than TODAY. Venture Capitalist/Angellist Founder Naval Revikant said, “The tools for learning are abundant. It’s the desire to learn that’s scarce.”. Read: Tech Toolkit for Families and Guardians by Google Classroom, How Substack has spawned a new class of newsletter entrepreneurs, Teachers need lots of training to do online learning well. Coronavirus closures gave many just days.
Where designers can place themselves
Going back to the graphic above, I’ve enumerated a number of descriptions for where I think design is, and where it’s going to be. Wherever that is, I am certain it will have the following principles:
It will be in a place of greater use.
It will be a champion of inclusivity, ethics and diversity.
It will be in a position of long-term thinking.
It will be systemized and automated.
It will be about the world, and its consequences.
More than anything, I am really enthusiastic about designing for this new… world with all of you. There are several paths ahead for anyone who is looking for change especially through design. The only shortage of it is will, and courage.
We need more courageous voices in design and technology. It’s about time we bring back the ‘humanity’ in stem. For the good of the industry, and for the ultimate benefit of all: the future and the next generation of makers, designers, leaders, thinkers.
For product and ux strategists—I wrote a thing!
As a subscriber to my little platform in this side of the internet, I am giving you the access to this document I wrote: “Practical UX Strategy Template for Freelancers: 2020 Edition”. I am making this an open-source one, meaning you can absolutely contribute and give feedback on it, on how to make it better and more efficient. I plan on growing it with this format. Co-contributors will be credited.
What is it for?
It is a framework I use for independent UX strategy work to map out an MVP from day 1 to a test-ready stage.
Who is it for?
Freelance UX strategists, product managers, UX designers (team of one!) and basically anyone who is a tiny bit curious on how we design softwares…that real life people would use.
Can I use it for my own workflow?
Yes. I’d like to know how it went as well! firstname.lastname@example.org
It is in its early stages. I would love to hear some feedback about it, if you’re open to one.
Thank you for reading,
I want to also open up my inbox to Q&A’s if you guys have any questions for me. I’d love to hear your thoughts about the future of work, user experience, philosophy and everything else I talk about on this platform. Thank you for subscribing!