Today’s design influencer: quick tips get hits

Design influencer: Point down emoji, thread emoji, like button

“10 Figma tips to make you a 10x designer: Read my thread 🧵 We have all seen these posts. They provide helpful tips and shortcuts for design tools. But I want more. And to push our field forward, we need more.

The current landscape of social media content and meme culture promotes bite-sized retweetable content. As a result, creators are incentivized to create content that generates views, clicks, and follows. Unfortunately, these incentives prioritize “shallow content.” If you are a designer, your timeline may be filled with quick tips teaching you how to use a tool, these tips are great, but they won’t help you become an expert in your field.

Long-form content and research papers take work to consume; they require time to ruminate and reflect upon. This takes commitment. Unfortunately, this type of content isn’t viral material. It can’t be consumed quickly, so we see in-depth, long-form content with a much smaller social imprint than a TL;DR post or design hot take.

And this is such a bummer.

The roadmap to becoming a “thought leader” in today’s world is to create well-designed “flashy content” that can be consumed as a snack. It’s a granola bar verse a healthy well, balanced meal. There isn’t anything wrong with a granola bar, but we need more meals.

The State of UX 2023 said it well: “Social media influencers have taken the spotlight from design researchers and authors. And now it’s the algorithm that’s driving the design discourse.” It is discouraging when top authors, designers, and researchers creating thought-provoking pieces get pushed to the side by media platforms. Meme content wins.

This post isn’t meant to trash folks creating great bite-sized content. But I also won’t hold back my critique that the current incentives are off. I want to be immersed in an internet where top-tier thoughts, concepts, and work are rewarded. Unfortunately, this isn’t the current state of the internet. 

I don’t have the answers for changing the system. But I have some recommendations of sites to follow if you want to move beyond bite-sized content and deeper learning. This is the content I want to see, and the content our design and technology industry needs.

Some of my recommended design sites to start following:

Have a recommendation for this list? Send me a Tweet, or a Toot.