I wouldn’t normally call an article about user experience sexy, but Sophia Voychehovski’s Object-Oriented UX, on A List Apart, is one sexy article. When I first read it I remember how enlightening it was. How it clicked for me. The charts in the article are information architecture, wireframes, database design, and scope. All the information is presented in a format that is readable by makers and stakeholders. I wanted to implement the process right away. Every single project I would be working on from then on should incorporate some form of content modeling. A single article had the power to change my entire work philosophy, to improve the product for the users and the stakeholders.
Writing has the power to change. I should write more.
The co-authors of this blog constantly share articles similar to the one mentioned. Every day there’s a new list of articles, videos, talks, and slides that we enjoyed and feel have value for others to read. If we think it’s important enough it gets shared to our coworkers and friends. When content moves us or causes us to take action we get anxious. “Why don’t we write a blog?” we ask ourselves. We come up with ideas for blog posts, but are never serious about writing them, let alone posting them. The idea of making a blog of our own had been a silly prospect, something to dream of but never actually get around to doing. That was until Understanding the Web with Jeremy Keith for The Web Ahead was tossed around the industry blog-o-sphere. The message of writing what we know now resonated with us (once again, an article evoked an emotional response) and gave us the final push to start something.
Welcome to Finding the Forest, a blog focused on the web industry. Its founders are full stack developers. We do frontend, backend, database, server admin, design, information architecture, user experience, marketing, business development, and sales, to name a few. But that’s what we do. We are lifelong learners, passionate, curious, never satisfied makers. We hope to learn from others as much as we teach them. We hope to open up this blog to other voices and viewpoints. We hope to improve.
Our name states our content goals and conveys the expectations of this blog. We’re looking beyond the individual trees at the bigger picture. Implementation and details come and go. The requirements and circumstances for Project A may not apply to Project B. The occasional post focused on tech has value–after all, things have to get done–but we’re striving for the why, not the how. Maybe one day we’ll create an article that evokes the same response in others that we get from reading who we look up to.
Finding the Forest was not made to appeal to everyone, and that’s ok. In a world where content is farmed for mass appeal, something more bespoke can prove to be exactly what someone’s looking for. Our audience is willing to read long format text if the content is relevant to them. Our audience has an insatiable appetite for insight into their industry and are willing to seek it out. They are invested, lifelong learners. They are interested in design, development, art, process, business. We know this because that’s who we are. We are writing for people who we know exist because they’re the very people we work with. They’re the people we draw inspiration from, who write articles that I consider sexy. They’re our peers. Ourselves.
The only way to get better is by doing. Go out and and make something, learn from it, and share your experiences with others. Find your forest.