I HAVE BEEN TOLD I DESERVE
“A FULL LIFE THAT ISN’T JUST ABOUT FIGHTING FOR THINGS”

Natalia Ilyin (q.v.):

For years I have heard stirring arguments about how designers need “a place at the table” around which important systemic decisions are made. And still that place at the table is not an assured place. […]

The reason that designers have only a feeble grip on that chair at the table is not because design is not respected, it is because most designers cannot write. I don’t mean they can’t write like Faulkner. I don’t mean they don’t have a discernable prose style. I mean they cannot write. They do not know where to put a subject and a verb and a capital and a period. They are functionally illiterate. […]

The odd part is that these designers have convinced themselves that they can write. They think they are fairly good writers and that a little dust-off with spellcheck will pretty much make them excellent writers. They have a totally unrealistic view of their own skills….

Now. Why is writing important to getting and keeping said much-ballyhooed chair? For two reasons. The first is that no one trusts illiterate people to make decisions. If they did, all countries would be democracies.

The second is that everyone else at that table can write and they look down on people that can’t. […]

No matter how brilliant you are, if you don’t know how to write well, you will never be perceived by the rest of that table as anything but a window-dresser wearing Prada.

I have observed this myself.

The foregoing posting appeared on Joe Clark’s personal Weblog on 2010.01.22 14:32. This presentation was designed for printing and omits components that make sense only onscreen. (If you are seeing this on a screen, then the page stylesheet was not loaded or not loaded properly.) The permanent link is:
https://blog.fawny.org/2010/01/22/illiterate-designers/

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