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1. I'm working on a new book that teaches design to everyone - and I've read over 40 "design books" as research.

One major observation is how frequently design is described as a solitary activity, taking place mostly in one person's mind. Despite how rarely that happens in life.
2. At the same time, designer's frustrations frequently focus on the other people they have to work with (including clients!).

Which makes for a professional trap: the major challenge of design (collaboration/persuasion) isn't seen as part of design education.
3. For some, when project management, or team politics comes up, it's out of bounds - "that's not design!"

But I'm here to say YES IT IS. What good is a design plan if it can't be built? Or the team won't build it? A design can't change the world if it doesn't get made.
4. It's purely a practical matter. Of course the creative skills of developing ideas is central to design, but if roadblocks X and Y constantly prevent those ideas from going anywhere, a practical person would say "I need to grow skills to overcome X and Y to do my job well"
5. Getting back to design books - I've read at least a dozen high-minded books about how designers do what they do that have these kinds of basic blind spots.

They polish ideas that designers likely already know, instead of poking at the corners where the real growth will be.
6. A favorite surprise is this book, written for young students, that covers so many real-world issues designers face that almost none of the popular design books even mention. It's from 1995 yet timeless - but if I wasn't doing research for a book I'd never have found it.
7. It's funny how sometimes it's only when a profession aims at younger people that there's room for authors to be more honest and holistic. There's less pretense - which makes room for... a better-designed book!
8. I mean, on page 20 of Why Design?, they dig right in on how design is always political and part of being a designer is leading good ideas through politics - not avoiding it or hoping it goes away.

But this is rare. Most don't even mention this as the reality of design.
9. For professional designers, this makes me think of Dark Matter and Trojan Horses by @cityofsound - a book that takes head-on how many designers and design projects just bounce off their organizations, never getting anywhere.…
10. There are good books on collaboration for designers - a fav is Designing Together by @brownorama (Loved it - was honored to write the forward).

But it's a weakness to make this a specialization - the seeds should be planted deep and early in design education.
11. But back to my own book - in trying to teach "what design is" I think there's a trap in starting with "there are 5 layers of design: aesthetics, functionality..."It's an academic way to go. How did academic writing style come to dominate design?
12. In the draft I'm working hard to stay in the reader's world: "here is a thing you use every day that frustrates you. Why is that? Who made it? What were they thinking? What went wrong?" To make the everyday interesting because they start to look at things like designers do.
13. Observation: when I explore what went wrong (with Norman doors, or bad TV remotes) it's really not about "design": its priorities, budgets, business goals!
Theory: the world is badly designed mostly because of things designers feel aren't part of "design" (is this crazy?)
14. Thanks for reading this far. Questions or opinions welcome on all of this - it helps me sort out my thinking when I'm still in drafting mode (which I am!). /END
15. I'll be tweeting about the book as it's written, but if you want to follow along the best way is to join this list (blog for the book coming soon): /ENDv2 #design #ux
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