#33: Not choosing is still a choice

  
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Hello! I'm Nate, designer of Plan Your Next, a weekly newsletter that connects design and how we prepare for our next thing.

We have added three new subscribers from last week—and if you’re curious—last week’s letter had a 51% open rate, with 6 audio downloads.

What’s new from me this week? Glad you asked!

First, Reza and I published episode #5 of It’s Gotta be the Mic. Second, artist/writer Salman Ansari and I hosted a live Procreate demo you can watch here. Third, I’m working on editing my latest essay about an embarrassing story about debt, cutlery, and the Red Baron. It should be live next week!


Yesterday around 11 AM, I drove Los Feliz’s version of Main Street—Hillhurst Ave—and it was beautiful. Just after Kamala Harris became the first female VP (and of course her Presidential counterpart, Biden) Hillhurst Ave was living its best life. Love, honking, sirens, celebration, flags, old men riding chopper styled scooters, and air high fives.

After writing last week about what I thought about Kanye and his thoughts regarding communities and creativity, It’s only fair I highlight this:

Choosing not to vote for your local officials is still making a choice.

You have no obligation to have an opinion about anything. You have a strict obligation to not have an opinion about things you don’t understand. —Morgan Housel

In the same way, design is either good or bad. There is no such thing as no design. Just because you don’t know the impact a typeface can have on your website doesn’t mean you’re not communicating a vibe or emotion to your readers.

For example, my parents have a disconnect when it comes to finances. They have not had it easy because of the lack of communication between them. One spends without the other knowing. The other keeps money to themselves due to the fear of losing it. And what they didn’t choose to teach me, forced me to make decisions of my own, unbeknownst to them.

When I advise non-designers about ignoring the design of their type or layout, they are inevitably making design decisions which is being interpreted by the viewer. If you choose a designed template without knowing why, you’re making a decision on behalf of your viewer, whether they like it or not.

What choices are you making without knowing?

Optimizing your design default

James Clear has a great article on designing your decisions.

“I have found more success by living a life that I design rather than accepting the standard one that has been handed to me. Question everything.”

By thinking ahead of time to clarify your decisions, you can avoid the opportunity to

Something has to go on the shelf at eye level. Something has to be placed on the rack at the end of the aisle. Something must be the default choice. Something must be the option with the most visibility and prominence.

Decisions with unintended consequences

Fascinating thread on how certain rules led to unintended consequences. My favorite:

When @dominos said all pizzas would be delivered in 30 minutes or less OR your pizza was FREE. The delivery drivers kept getting into car accidents to get your pizza to you on time, so it wouldn’t come out of their pay check. The promotion didn't last too long.

Close your tabs without thinking

I have way too many tabs open at any given time, so I use OneTabs Chrome extension when I don’t want to make a decision about which tabs to keep. It consolidates everything down into one page so you’ll never lose your tabs.

See you next Sunday

Are there certain topics you would like me to cover? Hit reply and expect a response!

As always, my calendar is always open to chat about your crazy ideas.

Have a great week!