A little over a year ago, I wrote a post describing some of the lessons I’d teach my younger self if I could go back in time. Generally speaking, there’s not much technical knowledge I’d add to that post (except don’t use IDs in CSS) - all those things are second nature to me now.

So here I am, thinking of other things I’ve learnt over the last 12 months that I would tell myself. But I don’t want to talk about technical doodads or CSS7 or version control. I want to talk about emotion, and experience, and design. The things that have made a bigger impact in the last 12 months.

  • Everything will be OK in the end. If it’s not OK, it isn’t the end. Someone told me this while I was in Helsinki, and I’ve thought about it every day since. Generally speaking, I’m quite a nervous person, but this little bit of advice calms me down right away.

  • People care about what you have to say. That’s why I blog. Even if what I say is wrong, there’s bound to be someone out there who likes reading it - or at least wants to take the time to show you how you can be better. And while we’re on the subject…

  • You can do better. I skimmed right past this bit of advice in Frank Chimero’s book until a beautiful girl pointed it out to me. Again - it hasn’t left my mind since.

  • It’s OK to suck. You’ll get better. Be patient. Reach out to the people you think are better than you for help - don’t just waddle in a pit of self loathing and envy. They sucked too.

  • Everything is designed. This was the mind explosion for me. When I said that sentence in my head for the first time, everything became clear in a way I hadn’t experienced before. Everything is designed. I mean everything. Someone made a choice about the shape of your mug. The width of your desk. The weight of the coins in your pocket.

As usual, I’m sure I’m missing some things I’d teach myself, but that’s not the point. There’s always room for more, (see bullet point #3) and with any luck I’ll look back on this in a year’s time and still believe in it.