Writing

A few people have asked me about the process of writing our book on service design given that the three of us are in different countries and all have different thoughts and styles of writing. I wrote a post on the Luzern MA Design site called Collaborative Long Form Writing that goes into the details.

It also contains some never-before-published behind-the-scenes photos!

ALA Article on Service Design Beyond the Screen

by Andy Polaine on June 30, 2013

in General, Links

As usual I’m behind the curve, but this time I’m behind myself, which is weird. I don’t think I’ll psychoanalyse that too much more. I am really pleased that my article Designing for Services Beyond the Screen was published this week on A List Apart. I’ve been away and blissfully offline all week, so I missed all the Twitter flurry about it, but I’m glad it resonated with the audience it was aimed at, which isn’t particularly service designers, but those working on Web and other digital projects.

I’m really, really pleased that I got a great illustration of connecting silos from Kevin Cornell. I interviewed Kevin for my column at Desktop Magazine a few years back and I love his work. While writing for ALA is enough of a drawcard in itself, I have to admit that getting an illustration from Kevin was secretly the real sweetener. Anyway, he owed me one, right?

Lastly, I say my article, but I owe a great debt to the most excellent editing by Sara Wachter-Boettcher and my book co-authors, Ben and Lavrans. Following up on my previous post about storytelling for designers and storytelling being an iterative design process, the ALA piece was a good example of that in action.

Sara and I used the private beta of Editorially to work on the piece together and it went through several revisions, including cutting out all the material and title that I originally planned for the article. I’ll not go too much into what got cut out, because maybe it will become another article, but I think it’s worth sharing that sometimes this happens. The writing often just goes in its own direction and, like working with the grain of a piece of wood, if you fight it, it will end up a mess. Sara’s strong editing really kept me facing in the right direction and sanded it into a decent piece.

Storytelling for Designers

June 20, 2013

As a design educator I watch and read a lot of project presentations. I worked out the other day that I must have seen at least 2,000-3,000 student projects in my time. A key thing I have learned is that the telling of the project’s story, whether as a pitch, presentation or documentation, is as […]

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Draft. Write Better.

April 15, 2013

Draft is a way for writers to collaborate online writing in Markdown with version control. It’s very straightforward so far, which is probably a good way to roll. Export doesn’t seem to be working for me at the moment, but the plan appears to be to export to Dropbox et al and keep things in […]

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Ten rules for writing fiction – Part Two

February 1, 2012

Ten rules for writing fiction (part two) The second of The Guardian’s series on rules for writing from a survey of established authors. (Part one is here, in case you missed it).

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Desktop columns online – onlab

November 12, 2010

Desktop magazine are republishing some of my previous Foreign Policy columns for their website. It’s good to see these get a new lease of life. The first one, Trying It On is a profile on Swiss/German studio onlab. Domus Magazine, Intersections #923, March 2009, illustration: Tobias Krafczyk, Publisher: Editoriale Domus, Italy. You can watch the […]

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The Virtues of Imperfection

October 4, 2010

I have enjoyed all of Jonathan Franzen’s books, in particular The Corrections, his novel about the complexities of family relationships, careers and, for one character, writing. The irony that 80,000 copies of his new book, Freedom will have to be recalled and/or pulped because someone used the wrong file can not be lost on him. […]

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Core77 Columnista

August 11, 2010

I’m very pleased to have been asked to be a columnist for the Core77 blog. It’s been in the works for a few weeks, but my recent trip to Ethiopia and our new daughter delayed my ability to get down to some writing. I’ve long been a fan of “industrial design supersite” Core77 (now re-taglined […]

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Mentoring Creative Minds

July 4, 2010

The current issue of COFA’s Incubate magazine has a piece by me in it called Mentoring Creative Minds, which is a reflection on 15 years of teaching (that I have been teaching that long came as a bit of a shock). They also used a scarily large version of my head logo (I can see some […]

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Writing is Design

March 3, 2009

“Verbalizing design is another act of design. I realised this while writing this book,” writes Kenya Hara in the preface to his book, Designing Design. But writing itself is an act of design, whatever the subject. Over the years I have done quite a bit of writing and recently my PhD is the largest block […]

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