Seth Godin’s book Linchpin discusses the importance of shipping — he asserts that good ideas mean nothing unless you can ship them. He says we don’t need more creativity, because there are plenty of ideas out there. What we need is to get those ideas out there, ship them, and see what happens.
When I think about how this applies to User Experience Design and Research, I think about generating more ideas, getting them in front of users, delivering more opportunities to observe people using these design ideas. However, what seems most amazing to me, is how these ideas get implemented — getting these ideas from testing to release.
User Experience professionals typically rely on skilled product development teams to make their ideas come true (writing code, writing documentation, QA testing, etc.). User Experience professionals don’t really ship anything that end-users can actually use, they ship ideas, test those ideas, and work with product development teams to see those ideas get implemented.
I think people who rely on others to implement their ideas should ship more of these: thank you notes — to users, stakeholders, and team members. These cost hardly anything to ship. If you are short, concise, thoughtful, funny, and write from the heart, they can make all the difference in the world to users (who inspire your ideas), to stakeholders (who pay you for your ideas), and product team members (who implement your ideas). Also, your team, stakeholders, and users will feel more connected together too.
Seth says to ship the things you enjoy giving, and gifts that help improve lives. Ship more appreciation and gratitude, and your life will improve too!