“We're not exactly saving lives or writing history but we are enjoying ourselves and the practice that keeps us busy.”

The most significant technological advancement of our lifetime (and perhaps of all time) is the Internet. It connects the world and transcends political boundaries. Some praise its freedom, others call for regulation — whatever your views it’s impossible to ignore.

In our small corner we discuss design.

Why are we doing this?

We’re not exactly saving lives or writing history but we are enjoying ourselves and the practice that keeps us busy. Design is more than a nine-to-five job for us.

Deadlines aside there is something very rewarding about what we do. Whether that’s the opportunity for artistic expression, a lifestyle choice, or something unexplainable, I know I wouldn’t want to do anything else.

Designers are very receptive to reading blogs & magazines that focus on practical aspects of design: photoshop tutorials, photography techniques, materials and product reviews (that sort of thing). We’re equally as fascinated with the showcase and gallery websites. All of these sources are perfect to be inspired and educated, or overwhelmed and misguided, depending on your mood.

Practical articles are judged on their individual merit and every designer is capable of teaching someone at least something, regardless of their talent. This is why I encourage everyone to write a blog. Not only does it allow you to cement your own ideas (when else do we really think about our work?), but you never know who will gain from it.

The boundaries of opinion

At xheight we’re taking a less touched approach to design writing. We’re focusing on theory: design as a lifestyle, design and our emotions; design and all its philosophies, however deep or superficial.

That seems to be a difficult concept for some people to grasp.

Here’s the truth: we are not machines. We don’t produce good design from a mechanical, academic and linear process. All our practical applications stem from our mind’s creativity. This blog exists to allow designers to share what’s on their mind. That’s quite the opposite of “self-indulgent” and anyone who opens themselves up for such personal inspection should be applauded, not criticised.

There’s one thing I’d like to note: when we express an idea about design that doesn’t exclude others. When I say “I design websites” I’m specifying what I do, not what I don’t do. I also wireframe interfaces, write JavaScript, watch football and secretly enjoy Lady Gaga; my original statement does not exclude any of those things from my life, however relevant. My point is that ideas are inclusive, they do not exclude other unspecified alternatives. Even in a practical discussion, when I’m promoting one technique I do not mean to say it’s the only solution (unless I do say that, of course).

In regards to design blogs we should always remember that the author is focusing on a few particular points. 500 word articles cannot include disclaimers that acknowledge an understanding of all the related ideas.

Too often I read comments lambasting the author for “not understanding” a different, more commonly preferred point of view or practice, despite the author never claiming that their idea was exclusive. When we comment we should discuss alternate theories but not assume the author is ignorant of them.

In that spirit I want to thank all who have commented at xheight.

Keep it up! Stay intelligent and let the discussion flow.  It doesn’t matter what language you use, just avoid the one-liners like “LOL!” and “Awesome!”. Above all avoid the negativity that comes from reading into things that were never expressed and making assertions based on that.

Finally, we’re always searching for new thoughts. Have something to share? We’d love you to write an article so get in touch: [email protected]