Writing for Beginners

C367948a0b16e9f060f735ebe94cff39?s=47 Nicole Fenton
November 14, 2013

Writing for Beginners

The beginner’s mind is eager to learn and open to possibilities. That’s the sort of approach we need as designers: a playful, messy, and curious one. So let’s talk about writing as a practice and a way forward—as something beginners do. We’ll explore how writing and design relate to each other, work through the difficulties of communicating, and find new places to begin.

Full transcript: http://nicolefenton.com/build-2013

Build, Belfast

C367948a0b16e9f060f735ebe94cff39?s=128

Nicole Fenton

November 14, 2013
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Transcript

  1. Writing for Beginners Nicole Fenton @nicoleslaw

  2. None
  3. Beginner’s mind

  4. None
  5. In the beginner’s mind there are many possibilities, but in

    the expert’s there are few. Shunryu Suzuki
  6. None
  7. Perpetual beginner

  8. • author • business owner • wife • home cook

    • surfer • speaker
  9. The difficulty of words

  10. http://toothpastefordinner.com

  11. Myths

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  16. • Know what you mean to say. • Have a

    plan, thesis, or outline. • Don’t wander or ramble. • Be tortured or addicted to something. • Be inspired by a muse.
  17. • Know what you mean to say. • Have a

    plan, thesis, or outline. • Don’t wander or ramble. • Be tortured or addicted to something. • Be inspired by a muse.
  18. A place of knowing

  19. A place of knowing not

  20. Build understanding

  21. Writing is design

  22. • critical thinking • communicating • planning • organizing •

    dealing with ambiguity
  23. • inform different audiences • solve or reduce problems •

    create lasting work • make the world a better place
  24. • ask questions • balance goals and constraints • learn

    about different people • shape systems • gather feedback • build on what we know
  25. • listen • plan • compose • revise

  26. Copy is interface

  27. Danger, lorem ipsum!

  28. • alerts • articles • emails • errors • forms

    • instructions • labels • marketing • names • policies • strings • tours
  29. To communicate

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  31. Language accelerates learning and creation by permitting communication and coordination...

    Kevin Kelly
  32. A new idea can be spread quickly if someone can

    explain it and communicate it to others before they have to discover it themselves... Kevin Kelly
  33. Language is a trick that allows the mind to question

    itself; a magic mirror that reveals to the mind what the mind thinks; a handle that turns a mind into a tool. Kevin Kelly
  34. • technology

  35. • techne

  36. Every technology—no matter its origin—can be channeled toward more transparency,

    greater collaboration, increased flexibility, and greater openness. Kevin Kelly
  37. Where to begin?

  38. • think like a designer • go places you’ve never

    been • start in the middle • write the way you do
  39. Think like a designer

  40. http://www.flickr.com/photos/ddimick/8948795874

  41. http://flickr.com/photos/ddimick/8948175181

  42. None
  43. Go places you’ve never been

  44. None
  45. Start in the middle

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  48. None
  49. • Design the words so they can change as your

    mind does. • Use simple layered chunks that are easy to move around.
  50. Write the way you do

  51. Part of the struggle in learning to write is learning

    to ignore what isn’t useful to you and pay attention to what is. Verlyn Klinkenborg
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  53. Oof.

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  55. None
  56. • read books and edited text •✍✍✍✍✍ • find beta

    readers • be kind to each other • there is no secret
  57. Thank you. Nicole Fenton @nicoleslaw