When I first came to the Microsoft community in 2007, I was amazed at how many experts there were covering a breadth of its products. Being from an Adobe/Java community originally we simply had a lot less vocal experts floating about and the ones that were regarded as experts, well they were easily identified through their work.
To be fair, that’s really a personal issue as in the end if you assume the blog in front of you is an expert without studying their background or body of work, well, you’re the idiot not everyone else?
Yet, I see this weird thing happening within the same Community today, that is to say I am reading more and more opinion pieces on Microsoft’s vision of Metro-Design.
That is to say, there is quite a lot of blogging echo’s on Metro Design being the way forward, there are quite a lot of folks suddenly taking an interest in Dieter Bram’s 10 principles of design, History lessons on Bauhaus, Transport Signage, Typography 101, Minimalism design for dummies and so on.
This is great; the more people can read about these types of subjects the more they can get a sense of bearings around “why” and “what” but it isn’t a launch pad for “how”.
The point is, unless these people have cracked open a design tool, sat down and grinded out some pixels for others to interact with and experience than all they are effectively is a digital sign post to the “why” or “what”. They really have no business telling folks on how things should be designed and more importantly how it’s going be an important component in our future.
It comes back to being authentic in your opinion or for that matter telling someone about your own personal experiences on why the subject matter such as metro is or isn’t important. You’ve tried your hand at the craft; therefore you’re the one who has something to learn.
If all you have done is sat beside a designer who did the work, read Microsoft’s PR/Marketing around Metro and figured this is a great way to launch your conference circuit/blog views in terms of preaching the mindless dribble that often is told over and over – then you’re frankly an idiot.
Developers aren’t designers; they are simply people who like design.
That statement for me is important as it simply means unless you try your hand at design, you’re not a designer, and you’re the other person in that equation who likes design. The moment you try and fail at design you have earned the right to talk about design, as now you have skin in the game.
To future metro design bloggers, less talk more pixels.