100 Days of Good UX: A Recap

As soon as I wrote the last word for my 100 days blog, a palpable sense of relief washed over me. I posted the last post, sent the last email, and sat back in my chair in an almost perfect facsimile of this:

Why?

I did this project for 2 reasons really. First, I was in a creative funk, and wanted something to try and get me out of it.

Second, I feel like it’s too easy to bitch about bad design. Bad design is easy to notice: it pisses you off, messes up your day, and gets in your way. Good design is harder, more subtle. Unless it’s flashy, it usually isn’t written about. I wanted to write about UX in a way that was harder, deeper, and more considerate of those subtle, important decisions.

I also had no idea what I was getting into, so, y’know, hubris.

Friendly Advice

If I could give anyone advice on a 100days project (considering I failed mine a quarter way through it) it would be the following:

  • Pick something short: There were some days that editing gifs and writing took almost 2 hours. If doing a project like this, pick something that can be done in less than half an hour, as it's more about the process than the product.
  • Find a rhythm: At about day 50, I found a rhythm for my writing and editing that helped me knock out the work pretty consistently. This is helpful.
  • Find some accountability: By day 90, I was completely burnt out. I didn't think that what I was writing was worth reading. I felt like I was repeating myself. Even though this stint had run for only 70 days, I was done.

    The only reason that I kept going was because I had my email list running and an editor who was waiting for my daily posts. My consistency went to hell, but I managed to get through it because of the process.

  • Keep an inspiration log: There are days that everything will come flying out on the page and you are thrilled with your productivity. There are also days that you are just wondering why you did this in the first place.

    On those off days, it really helps to have a list of ideas that you haven't done anything with yet.

  • It won't work all the time: Even with all of these backchecks, I still had a few days that just didn't work out. It happens. That last week, I relied entirely on all of these systems to actually write the last few posts. Immediately after the project ended, I had a flood of inspiration come out of nowhere, something I would have *greatly* appreciated in my last few posts. As a sidenote, a huge part of the traffic to my blog actually came from that mailing list, so I certainly recommend it as a way to engage people! I can't thank enough the people who encouraged me through this project. Right after I finished it, I got an email from a reader asking if I was starting another one soon. When I caught my breath from hysterical laughter, I declined… For now at least.