In 2023, I will write consistently.
It helps me process my thoughts and motivates me to learn new things. It serves as a way to help others and gives me a chance to reflect.
But, I want to ensure that I’m writing things I care about and helping others at the same time.
So, I took some time to reflect and asked myself:
What types of articles do I want to write? And how?
My main topic will be:
Digital product design
In short, I want to nerd out about this. And the good thing is:
There’s so much to learn in this field. There’s so much I don’t understand.
For example, I came across this article by Retool - “Something Pretty Right: The History and Basic of Visual Basic.”
Immediately, questions pop up:
What is Visual Basic? Why was it the most dominant programming environment? Wait, what’s a programming environment?
Hopefully, I’ll be able to answer these once I read the article. But the point is:
It’s exciting!!! There’s so much to learn!
Thus, I want to center this blog around digital product design.
But, I also will write about non-design-related things. The point of this is to prevent me to stay in a bubble. There are way too many things to learn about this world. And I will try to relate those interesting topics to design in some way.
After settling on the topic, I want to talk about how I plan to write.
In its simplest form, I see myself writing these two types of articles:
Let’s break them down.
Reflection-based writing is an introspective look into two things
Let’s look into each of these.
For this blog, I want to focus on experiences related to product design and careers.
For example, here are some article ideas:
The point here is to reflect on any important experience I have as a designer and delve into:
I do this a lot.
Well - Before design interviews.
The blessing in disguise of interviews is that I get forced to learn more about myself. I need to ask myself:
What are my strengths & weaknesses? What’s my design process? What kind of designer do I want to become?
And a lot more questions.
Well, what if I can ask myself these questions anytime?
Still, I believe in the power of actually doing. But, it’s important for me to sometimes pause and reflect on who I am as a designer.
This is what it sounds like. It’s the type of writing that focuses on a topic or a piece of knowledge.
This is an opportunity for me to learn something new.
Now, I can see this take shape on two sides of a spectrum
This format will include templates, examples, checklists, etc.
Some examples that come to mind include
This format is a bit vague. But it means more description and paragraph based. Most of the time, these are more informative rather than practical or actionable.
For me, I want to lean more toward the purely practical side.
This quote from James Clear - author of Atomic Habits Atomic HaAtomic Habit- always resonated with me:
Don’t write to sound smart. Write to be useful.
I want to write to be useful and helpful. Now, this doesn’t mean every single writing I publish will be like this. But I want the majority of my writings to lean towards the practical side.
Now, there’s a question:
What happens if I experience something & want to distill it into a helpful article?
Well, that works too! That falls into the bucket of a mix between reflection and knowledge. For this type, I’ll be basing the knowledge largely on the experience I had.
Here are some titles that will fit into this knowledge-based category:
Now, what about the length?
Honestly, this shouldn’t be important. I don’t have a strong opinion on how long or short a writing should be.
But, the key is:
I should not stray away from long-form content just because of time.
I should be comfortable writing long-form, evergreen content.
As Vitaly Friedman - Founder of Smashing Magazine - says:
There are a lot of TL;DRs, quick tips, and bite-sized content out there. But often it doesn’t leave space for deep, meaningful conversations.
Some of my favorite writers publish deep, long reads about design:
For a good list: check out this LinkedIn post.
To close out this article, I want to list out all the online writers/creators I look up to:
🎨 Author of Lenny's Newsletter & Podcast, Ex. Product Lead @Airbnb
🔗 Newsletter | Podcast
The de-facto person I look to for product management content. I'm also an avid listener of his podcast.
🎨 Head of Design at Statsig, Ex. Sr. Product Designer @Facebook Gaming
I love his past practical articles about portfolios and interviews. After he joined Statsig, I read all his articles about building the design culture at Statsig. They're so cool to read 😭
🎨 CEO and co-founder at Blush.
His whimsical illustrations and animations adds so much character to his writing. His talk “The Faker You Are, The More Successful You Can Be” on awwwards is also hilarious 😂
🎨 Founder of Built for Mars.
I’m a huge fan of his UX breakdowns. One of my favorite articles from him is "Apple Maps vs Google Maps."
🎨 Interaction Designer at Google
She has written a ton of helpful articles about design and careers. Very thankful for her work & presentation on portfolio presentation.
🎨 Product Design Lead at Godaddy
🔗 Medium | LinkedIn
I love his career/internship-related Medium articles. They're all tailored to junior designers or college students looking for internships.
🎨 Head of Design at RewindAI
His article on “Craft” is a must-read for designers.
🎨 Design Lead at Ought.
Maggie’s blog is one of the most unique ones I’ve seen. I love her long essays about design, programming, and anthropology. Not to mention how beautiful her illustrations are.
🎨 Editor in chief and founder of Smashing Magazine
🔗 Blog | LinkedIn
He is one of the few people I’ve seen that is seriously “passionate” about design. I’ll recommend going to his LinkedIn and looking at all the resources he shared. You’ll learn a ton.
🎨 Founder of rectangle labs & ex. product designer at Tidal & Barclays
🔗 Blog | Twitter
I love Dan’s nerdiness over the logic behind design components. His visual breakdowns are also super clear.
🎨 Founding Lead Designer at Harbor
🔗 Blog | Website
He doesn’t write often. But his most recent 2022 article changed my perception of job search.
🎨 Product Manager, Creator Revenue at Discord
🔗 YouTube | LinkedIn
I love how candid she is with her career experience. And her video - “How I decided what company to work at as a Product Manager” - helped me decide on going to Datadog this summer!
Thank you for being awesome and reading this far! :)
If you have any questions, feel free to reach out on LinkedIn, Twitter, or by email. Will love to set up a casual call and chat!