Super-Villain Tricks An exclusive post from the newsletter

In today’s post I shared the deck for a talk that I gave about the design process. It was intended for a group of people who aren’t designers, so I used “Avengers: Endgame” as a silly hook, hoping to draw the audience into what otherwise might have felt like homework—if you’re not already interested in design, design tends to not be so interesting.

Really though the “Avengers” hook was just as much a tool for me to get into the spirit of writing that talk. I believe that, with limits, the more fun it is for the author, the more fun it is for the audience. I probably give two dozen talks a year, and in many of them I repeat large chunks of talks I’ve given previously. I could easily just give the same one, over and over, and to some extent I’ve done that. But I find that if I can shake things up a bit each time so that it’s more interesting for me, it usually ends up being more interesting for the audience. And, when I’m short on time and faced with the prospect of writing almost an entirely new talk from scratch the night before I’m supposed to deliver it, I find that talking about something totally unexpected is a useful trick for me and for everybody. Plus, it’s just a smart way of playing the odds: you have better chances of finding “Avengers” fans than design fans in a crowd.

Cheers from New York,