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Designs take a leap forward when you kill the things you didn’t know you were holding on to.
Care to elaborate?
Sounds good, but how can you go about finding these things you don’t know about?
Guys, your abbreviated title in the RSS feed as well as your URL states “Designs take a leap forward when you kill”. Even though this could be connected to your message, you should hold on some more words when designing your titles ;)
I find some of these “insights” a bit vague. Would be much more compelling if you at least gave an example of what led you to this profound realisation.
what a load of crap
This sounds like something you think is really clever when you’re stoned.
I used to gain a lot from 37s postings. Now it’s mainly product updates and posts like this which tell me absolutely nothing.
Yes, I understand what it means – but it’s as useful as “banana sundaes are best when they’re prepared properly”. It’s a statement of fact that doesn’t help me in the slightest.
Time for a spring clean of the news feeds….
Jack: Can you point to specific examples of old posts you liked?
Lightbulb comments aren’t supposed to be full-fledged blog posts…interpret it, think about it…
If you’re a coder, think of a project where you’ve been trying to fix a bug or add a new feature but you’ve subconsciously shyed away from it because of the other rules that are in place – maybe they don’t have to be there to begin with.
If you’re a designer, think of a project where you’ve loved an element of the design so much that you wouldn’t consider parting with it – but maybe letting that go opens up other areas of the design that make the big picture better.
well put KC. I understood what this insight meant immediately as I’m in the process of radically simplifying a product I’m designing. You take for granted some of the decisions you make in your design. You take a step back and realize you don’t need it. You edit and then the experience of the product completely changes.
Keep the insights coming. Pithy, to the point, a little morsel to reflect on. What’s wrong with variety—a mix of long and short form?
KC… Thanks I’ve actually been wondering about the origins / actual purpose of the “INSIGHT” posts. didn’t notice the light-bulb until you pointed it out.
I find them interesting like “confuses says”, proverbs and fortune cookies.
As for examples of the past of articles I have enjoyed, I tend to really pay attention to the “Why / how we did …”, the articles that show your design sessions / communications. I watch the “new features posts” for much of the same reason, each new feature was put in for a purpose and you can learn a lot from seeing the change and luckily 37s is great about telling you why.
Off topic, but the RSS headline for this is funny: “INSIGHT: Designs take a leap forward when you kill”
I get you, totally. As you think you’ve realised this, you’ll soon enough realise that you’ve become attached to something else and and that you need to take another step back. It is a perpetual process.
I tried to explain it like this:
And a design is finished when there’s nothing left to kill.
@Thomas This section of your post is absolutely profound:
“Usability studies and focus groups are for refinement not for innovation.”
Replace ‘Designs’ with ‘Life’ and it applies equally well.
a.k.a. “kill your darlings”
I can clarify this: The things you didn’t know you held on to become apparent when you sit back and realize they are there. Once you become aware, you can plainly see, and beliefs and blocks don’t need to be laboriously removed, they simply evaporate.
It’s an awakening of sorts, and it always leads to progress. This isn’t a designer truth, it’s one of life’s truths.
How to get from here to there, ah there’s a question. I prefer to sit back and do absolutely nothing. A lot of people, of course, can’t even do that.
Once all obstacles are removed, flow like water.
Though written about the art of writing, Paul Graham’s fantastic essay could easily be adapted to design:
“expect 80% of the ideas in an essay to happen after you start writing it, and 50% of those you start with to be wrong”
“be confident enough to cut”
and this essay also has one of the best endings I’ve ever read:
”...learn to recognize the approach of an ending, and when one appears, grab it.”
Now substitute “design” for “writing” and you get a very similar approach to this post’s insight.
Programmer I’m working with recently rewrote a bunch of code. He’d been struggling with the UI until he took two days off. The first day he went out in the world, drove out to see the New England foliage, and didn’t turn on his computer. The second day he looked at sites whose UI he loves and just spent some time aimlessly navigating through them, entering text into boxes, simply using them. And on the third day, he ripped out what he’d been doing (and spinning his wheels on) and came up with something clean, clear, and intuitive. The new UI is useable in the best possible sense: fun, easy, pleasant.
Ryan's been getting to the bottom of things at Basecamp since 2003.
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