The Best of My 20 Years of Writing on Design

If you’re familiar with my my books and talks, you know I’ve written about creativity, public speaking and other subjects, but back in 2000 I mostly wrote about design. If you’ve followed me long enough to remember uiweb.com or the crazy live design competitions I did at events, thanks for still being here. Back then, after years as what’s now called a UX PM on Windows and Internet Explorer, I was the design advocate for Microsoft, promoting good design and usability practices across the company. While there I wrote a UI design column for MSDN’s developer magazine. I thought someday I’d write a primer on good design, I just didn’t anticipate it would take 20 years until I did it with How Design Makes The World.

Over my career I’ve rarely had the word design in my job title, but design has always been central to how I think. It explains why even Making Things happen, a book about project management, uses design concepts more that project management books do. If you look at my books or talks you’ll see a kind of design at work. What is a book or a presentation if not a kind of designed human experience?

Sorting through the archives to find these essays, I picked ones that were most popular and still held up despite all that’s changed. My best writing is likely in my books, but I always try to write in a timeless way.

Most of my writing is free, but if you find value here, please support me by buying a copy of How Design Makes The World or my other books. Thanks for your support.

Here’s my best writing on design from 1999 to 2020:

My most recent essay, How To Put Faith in Design, is my best design essay so far this year. You can also visit all 170+ posts from the design archive. Or my best posts of all time.

Have a question on design you wish I would answer? Get in touch.

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