The value of hard

The value of hard

Nathan Heleine on the value of doing things that are hard:

When you write a letter, even after the physical act of putting pen to paper which arguably produces more valuable writing as a sheer response to the effort involved, you still have to find an envelope, address it, find a stamp, lick it, find a mailbox, and stuff it. In digital that entire stream of actions is consolidated to a few keystrokes (entering enough of the recipient’s name for auto-complete to do its job) and a single click (send).

As designers:

Perhaps we need to find the digital equivalent of licking that stamp. We (being the designers of new communication technologies) need to make things just hard enough that they make people feel good, and not a bit harder. The things that should be efficient — delivery, discovery, filtering and organization – should stay efficient. The things that should feel kind of hard – preparation, creation, composition, ideation and perhaps even some aspects of delivery and discovery — should be a little harder.

He ends with advice that sounds particularly hard:

If you’re as tired of your digital communication tools as I am, try this; pick three of the people you need to email today and write them a hand-written note or letter instead.