Why do I have to write about my design decisions?

It can get annoying.

Sitting on a desk/couch/kitchen table/wherever and get your creative juices going, takes a little bit of warm-up. Some people take the Master, Aaron Draplin’s Logo design approach, others browse the Webby Awards to review the most recent, successful web design, and others take the research approach, browsing through endless content, like InVision App’s Blog which is one of my favorites, to get notes on successful websites. If you are a creative, I’d love to hear what your process is.

Whether you are working on something completely new, continuing a project, or, redesigning something, you have a process, and, this process is typically not easy if done right. So, why the heck are you also required to write about your design decisions?? Are all designers copywriters too? Spoiler alert: The answer is no. 

For some designers, their design is already their communication. Some people are better at showing than writing. This is why so much talent can be wasted in the design-assistant production world. So unfair!

Luckily, when I was 13 I started, what I know now to be fan fiction, and would write dozens of notebooks with stories, stories I would share with my friends, stories that my friends would devour and beg for the next notebook! It’s weird to talk about it now, but it became my side-gig, per se. I had friends gifting me notebooks and pens so that I would not run out of supplies! Some of my friends, actually, three very close ones, were so inspired by these stories that they went off to study publishing, and all credited me, I’m not kidding!

I get it from my Dad, but that’s another story I will write about on another day. It involves a man who has traveled the world, has met Fidel Castro, and has been in American Express commercials … are you now tempted to send me notebooks and pens, too?

I digress.

Bottom-line: Designers spend a lot of good, quality time researching and creating beautiful and functional. Most designers are typically ready to explain and defend their design decisions, not all designers are able/willing to write what feels like an essay about it. And for this, I would encourage Design Managers and people in hiring positions to consider this fact. Personally, I love a good design challenge.


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