Designing While Shipping

My latest talk. (Art by my friend @bysusanlin)

Jon Bell
16 min readJun 20, 2014


A lot of designers are good at pixels but struggle to ship something they’re proud of. This is because the skills it takes to be a designer are different skills from the ones that make you great at releasing a product. I assume you’re already familiar with design, so today I’d like to talk about the finer points of shipping as part of a team.

Milton Glaser has this great talk called Ten Things I Have Learned. He’s been around for a very long time, so his ten lessons are pretty great. One in particular is wonderfully true but misunderstood: “Some people are toxic, avoid them.”

The funny thing about this line is that everyone agrees at first. You immediately think of a troublesome co-worker, or manager, or someone you just don’t get along with. You think “Ain’t that the truth. There are definitely toxic people among us.”

But this isn’t what Glaser is saying. He’s not saying there are good people and evil people. Because if so, things would be so much easier!