Oct 31, 2019 • 2M

It's Halloween 🦇 The Veil is Thin

Stoic Designer
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Bite-sized frequent episodes, Stoic Designer is about applying the practice of stoicism to your design work as a means to benchmark the day, get your head right, and craft virtuously.
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Back in April I introduced Venerating the Grave UX (medium), which is about regularly “ritualizing” negative feedback. The idea is that periodically you make an event out of digging-up negative user feedback and determining whether it has been or how it might be addressed.

For those of you who like to feel extra spooky, I called a collection of purely negative feedback — which, real talk, could be just a filter a on spreadsheet that weeds out the positive and neutral feedback — a “Charnel House.”

Venerating the Grave UX isn’t really about emerging with solutions, but about normalizing your perspective. In January, I wrote

Consistent user research unearths plenty of truisms about the quality of your service. Like youtube comments for the soul, we willfully perform this grave diggery to identify pain points in a customer journey that give meaning and direction to our design work.

Catalog these well, and make it easy to revisit the worst of the comments, your negative feedback. This is your charnel house. Visit often.

Veneration is humbling, but the goal is optimistic: it’s hard to do consistently thorough user research without being conditioned against taking negative feedback personally. Such a practice thickens the skin. It inoculates you.

So, today, when the veil is thinnest, make some time to look upon the bones of your design work.

Craft spookily,

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Remember that design is not art, but a practice.

Michael Schofield