Learning to read & write online – Week Note 23/10/23

Published: 2023-10-23
Who this is for: • People in product • Curious designers

Table of contents:


I’ve been researching successful digital writing techniques, and how they can shape my writing. Enjoying audio versions of written content online, resentfully. And deciding the future of Good Resources

Pushing the blog forward

Since starting this blog, I’ve spent as much time editing the code as writing. And zero time promoting, yet. I enjoy coding, so, for good or ill, it’s easy to get lost in it.

I didn’t start the blog to tinker with the UI, that’s why I’ve kept it as simple as I can. So from here on, I vow to cut code tinkering out, (almost) completely 🤞.

A small piece of the week was spent on researching writing online. And it’s made me rethink things slightly.

_Interesting interview with Nicolas Cole on digital writing_

Interesting video for anyone thinking about writing online. I’m applying a few things from this video to my writing:

The forest of ideas

I plan to open up the scope of writing topics. Generate lots of ideas, possibly outside the subjects of inclusive product design. Still tangentially related to product design though.

Generating lots of ideas will mean that the default size of the content I produce will be shorter form, that’s something I need to work on, I tend to ramble…

Content reviews and Week Notes will still be a big part of my writing online. But I’ll be more selective with what I share. Use them to create smaller digestible pieces of content I can share online.

The video advises against using a blog. Perfect. I’ll continue regardless. But I’ll focus on posting where people are, rather than trying to draw people here.

Get feedback

Gathering feedback through qualitative and quantitative data is a key part of the advice in the video.

Views, likes, comments, shares, all tangible data gathered in platforms like Threads, LinkedIn and Medium.

I’m staying away from the social network that shall not be named.

Analyse the data

This blog is a place to document my learnings, projects and thinking on inclusive product design and UX. I’ll continue to explore them. Nevertheless, I plan to lean on the data in the feedback stage to inform the direction of my long-form writing efforts.

Access to great content

I discuss my neurodiversity and how it makes me think differently about design in hopes it will resonate with people like me and maybe, neurotypical readers in product development. And help them think about designing a little more thoughtfully.

Rarely do I discuss the impact my ADHD and Dyslexia have on my everyday life. When it comes to reading, this combo is a killer one-two punch.

It takes real effort to search, identify and read from the plethora of written content and quality journalism online. Thankfully Audible and podcasts have sufficed for the past decade or more. Though it’s limited my available content, the ability to digest the content in a way that works for me has been a lifesaver.

Recently, my venture into design writing has forced me to do a bit more reading than usual. I’ve been exploring articles from writers I admire, studying their styles, and seeking out techniques and tips

Finally, I decided to invest in a Medium membership just for the audio capabilities. And through following the writing of Rebecca AckermannI discovered Noa, ‘News on audio’. An app that takes news from the best journalism sources and has voice actors read the articles.

It feels like I’ve had a power-up and doors to a new medium of digital writing have opened up to me

With this newfound power, comes the responsibility to ask; Why is it that I, and many others, have to subscribe to multiple premium services just to access content in a format that’s accessible to us?”

Struggling with Good Resources

Good Resources’ is a platform I created as a solution to my ever-growing, unmanageable browser tabs. With my vast interests in product development, I often come across resources that others might find valuable. So, I designed a simple app to share these finds: Good Resources.

Operating on a tight budget means I built the platform without investing in analytics. This poses a challenge: while I want to refine and improve ‘Good Resources,’ I lack the data-driven insights to guide its development. For now, I’ve relied on feedback from social media to make tweaks. Yet, the absence of concrete data makes me hesitant to evolve it beyond a personal repository of niche resources.

I’m always brainstorming ways to enhance ‘Good Resources.’ While I ponder its next iteration, your feedback is invaluable. Whether through a newsletter signup, social media, email, or other channels, I welcome all insights – the good, the bad, and everything in between. Your perspective will help shape the content and future of Good Resources.

Week Note schedule update

Week Notes will be going out on Fridays as of this week. I was consolidating my notes on Sunday, writing and releasing them on Monday. But it makes sense to stick to the working week and end with a summary.

The content will focus on work when I start at RCN (Royal College of Nursing) on the 1st. I’ll also try and trim the fat significantly.