I’ve noticed a rhetorical trope in our industry. It’s not, like, widespread, but I see it in enough blog entries and conference talks that I think it’s a pretty common pattern: namely, the author’s sharing some advice with the reader and, if the reader’s boss or stakeholders won’t support a given course of action, suggests the reader “just do the thing anyway.”

I think this is a bad, harmful trope. And I also think we should avoid using it.

Just make that layout responsive, just make that pattern library. It might be easy for me to write those words down, but not every reader may work for themselves; they may not have the flexibility to defy a boss’ requests. And no layout, no pattern library is worth losing a job over.

With some frequency, I find myself wishing that our industry followed Eileen’s excellent advice:

Our experiences and lessons still have great value and are worth sharing, but we have to stop presenting them as law. Instead, we need to practice saying these words: “Here’s what worked for me.”

My experience doesn’t necessarily encompass yours; and similarly, your experience might not reflect mine.

And in that spirit, I’m putting all this down for me. But maybe you’ll get some value from it, too.