If we design something so cool and simple that nobody can use it because the intended audience uses it so often that options are buried frustratingly deep – instead of letting them learn faster ways of doing things – is it really all that cool? Products for editing complex video, for instance, should give videographers power, not coolness.
Sometimes simple is better than power.
September 25 2019
Some schools are setting kids up for failure.
Today I drove by a school sign that said, “We will not tire, falter or fail.”
It sounds good. Determined. Resolute. Able to overcome obstacles. But those who reject these things can’t succeed.
To tire is part of the process. Every work of significance or importance I’ve ever worked on made me tired at one point or another. You press on through it some times, you get some rest others. But the only way to not tire is to never do hard things.
To falter is part of the process. Every work of significance or importance I’ve ever worked on has been peppered with mistakes. Or they’ve experienced moments where I’ve sat back and thought, “Is this worth it?” It’s these moments that remind you why you’re doing what you’re doing. To avoid such realizations is to work without a why.
To fail is part of the process. Every work of significance or importance I’ve ever worked on has had failures in and around it. The ideas that don’t work out teach you and lead you toward the ones that do. The features you build that aren’t needed point you toward where those in your care want to go. To avoid failure is to avoid progress.
If it sounds good as a school motto, beware. The reality of meaningful work is far less glamorous, but far more fulfilling.