I can hardly believe that the year is 2013 and today is the 5th anniversary of when I joined Twitter. It may seem like a silly thing to celebrate or even recognize, but to me it’s a moment to remember when things changed forever.
My life has taken many twists and turns over the last 5 years, from attending UX and design conferences to expand my horizons, quitting my full-time job to go independent, building relationships with a remarkable list of clients, speaking at conferences around the world, and getting to meet so many incredible, inspirational, passionate, brilliant people along the way.
And it all started with joining Twitter.
I have written many times before about the impact Twitter has had on my life and my career. It has given me access to the thought leaders in my field. It has opened my eyes to a plethora of different perspectives. It has helped me stay current at times when it can feel impossible to keep up. But most of all, it has allowed me to share my voice, to express my innermost feelings and to try to make a difference in the world.
As my network has steadily grown, I have been able to reach a significantly broader and more diverse group of people, who in turn have exposed me to things I never could’ve imagined. In the last year I have begun to notice a sort of tipping point where my tweets have the potential to reach an enormous audience, exponentially beyond what I’ve previously experienced. It is not the number of followers or number of retweets that matters to me, but rather just how special it is to be connected with individual people whose lives I would otherwise never intersect with and whose spirit I would otherwise never come to know.
There were a few things I tweeted in the last year that seemed to resonate with people in a meaningful and lasting way, so I have chosen to highlight those here. Sometimes the quiet reflections I tweet when I can’t sleep, that go unnoticed and unanswered, are what have the greatest impact on me because it was something I needed to say, for me and not for anybody else. But other times when I’m able to find a way to express something I deeply feel and it creates a connection with another human being — that can’t be measured.
When someone says something you’ve been saying for years, don’t think, “I’ve been saying that for years!” Instead think, “I’m winning!”
— Whitney Hess (@whitneyhess) March 22, 2012
Designing the product is all for naught if you don’t first take the time to design the organization.
— Whitney Hess (@whitneyhess) April 20, 2012
Research > Strategy > Design. If you don’t know why and who before you come up with what, you’ll end up creating nothing for no one.
— Whitney Hess (@whitneyhess) February 1, 2012
If driving traffic to your site is your business’s ultimate goal, you have an outdated business model & you don’t understand user experience
— Whitney Hess (@whitneyhess) February 29, 2012
User experience is a customer-focused process for designing products. It is not an activity you can put on a bulleted list of services. Stop
— Whitney Hess (@whitneyhess) September 20, 2012
If you’re a UX designer and you spend your entire day on your computer, you’re really missing the point. The answers aren’t at your desk
— Whitney Hess (@whitneyhess) September 28, 2012
User Research isn’t to ask people what they want, but to discover what they do. Behavior reveals need, identifies problem to solve by design
— Whitney Hess (@whitneyhess) October 22, 2012
Baffling that men in ties still represent leadership. I spent the day @brooklynbeta w/ people who make the web & they basically wear pajamas
— Whitney Hess (@whitneyhess) October 12, 2012
More of my popular tweets can be found on Favstar.
Thank you to every single person who follows me now, has followed me in the past, or who may follow me in the future. Thank you to every one I follow, have followed before and will one day follow again. Because of you all I have learned so much about who I want to be, where I want to go, and how I want to live my life. You have motivated me to try harder, to be stronger and to work smarter. You have given me hope on days when I felt there wasn’t any left and given me a place to share my own message of hope.
Thank you, Twitter. Happy 5 year Twitterversary to us! And here’s to another 5, whatever they may bring.
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