100% of Users are People

Inspiration reminds me of a scarce element that can be found everywhere but only in small quantities. To get enough of it, you have to mine many sources. The more sources you mine, the better you get at finding it. One way I find it is by ruminating on concepts that are only indirectly related to the specific context I’m working in. It’s not necessarily about learning something new. The concepts are usually fairly simple. It’s just about seeing something from a new perspective. It’s an opportunity to take a break and go for a walk around an idea.

Books, talks, documentaries, and podcasts, are some of my favorite ways to ruminate on concepts. The other day someone said, “When you read a non-fiction book, you’re reading a summary of everything the author has learned in their life.” Each time someone summarizes and shares their knowledge, we’re getting a report from their time spent exploring human experience. We also get the references to reports they received and the reports their predecessors received and so on. It takes a relatively short amount of time to consume enough information to start drawing connections between multiple distinct topics. Within those connections, there’s often inspiration.

My latest source of inspiration is Simon Sinek’s work. I wanted to ruminate on design as a communication medium and a friend had recently recommended his book. Throughout all of his talks and writings, which cover many different broad topics, the importance of understanding people is emphasized. Especially in the context of communication and establishing trust. Understanding people, of course, is a key part of design. That’s not new. The inspiration didn’t come from acquiring any specific new information. It came from taking a break to think more abstractly in terms of “people” instead of “users” for awhile.

Some of Simon Sinek’s work:

Start with Why (Book)

If You Don’t Understand People, You Don’t Understand Business (Video)