A Punch is A Punch: On Technique

It is irresponsible for people who don’t understand the nuances of the responsive vs. adaptive debate to write sweeping posts arguing for one technique over another.

-Karen McGrane “A/B Tests are Destroying your User Experience


Most of the posts people write today have the formula of:

“Bold Claim + Sweeping Attack + Popular Methodology.”

These are not worth anyone’s time and are taking up bandwidth.  They are easy to write – I’ve written plenty of them, and I’m taking them down, because they stink.

The truth is that while the absolute best work just nails the basics; the nuance, precision, and experience to make those design decisions is not easy and very very few people are actually that good.  And that’s ok – the way they got to be that good is by making a lot of ‘less-good’ decisions.

This isn’t an original concept either – that the ultimate in sophistication is simplicity.  Take it from Bruce Lee:

Before I studied the art, a punch to me was just like a punch, a kick just like a kick. After I learned the art, a punch was no longer a punch, a kick no longer a kick. Now that I’ve understood the art, a punch is just like a punch, a kick just like a kick. The height of cultivation is really nothing special. It is merely simplicity; the ability to express the utmost with the minimum. It is the halfway cultivation that leads to ornamentation.


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