Death by Screens: the newsletter

by Ben Sauer

My book "Death by Screens: how to present high-stakes digital design work and live to tell the tale" - is here to help designers tell better stories about their work. Get three winning presentation tips from the book by signing up below!

Featured Post

Presenting design? Use stories, not real estate tours: a conversation with Jane Austin

Hey subscribers! It's been a little while since I've written to you - apologies - it's been a busy summer! Today's email: my friend Jane and I caught up a while back about the book, and I really appreciated some of Jane's wise reflections on the topic, for example, why you should "UX research...
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3 days ago • 17 min read
Jane Austin
Jane Austin

Presenting design? Use stories, not real estate tours: a conversation with Jane Austin

Jane Austin is one of the most inspiring product design people I've ever met. She's a sharp product thinker and builds happy, productive design teams (great interview about her journey here). Jane and I helped to build a hundred strong design team together. She asked me recently why I wrote my...
2 months ago • 17 min read
Goldilocks stares at the planets

Doing the wrong thing to find the right thing, aka The Goldilocks Zone

Education, fables, game design, astrophysics, writing, story structure: they’re all connected by a useful principle you can use to improve how you communicate. Deliberate failure Our schooling has really internalised the idea that the correct answer is the only one that matters. As I write, my...
2 months ago • 1 min read
chatgpt koan on design feedback

Facilitating good design discussion: reflection before feedback

Today's tip is about how you go about helping to facilitate good feedback from stakeholders. Let's go! We teach children something that we often don't stick to in our adult lives: think before you speak. I'm as guilty of not following this rule as anyone. I'm from an outspoken and (sometimes...
3 months ago • 3 min read
Bill Reid's Raven sculpture

The storyteller's portfolio: keep a bank of attention grabbers

In your long, creative, and prosperous design career, you'll end up explaining particular topics to your colleagues over and over again. What we'll cover: finding the right story to tell about a topic so that you grab their attention at the start. In Pacific Northwestern Canada, there's an...
3 months ago • 4 min read
Will Self's writing room

Planning a presentation? Outline horizontally

There's no one perfect way to create a presentation, or indeed, any kind of content-based work. But there are approaches we can borrow from other disciplines. In the world of fiction writing, there's the idea of 'planners' or 'pantsers' (as in, flying by the seat of your pants). Planners...
3 months ago • 2 min read
Walter White brainstorms the structure on sticky notes

Why Breaking Bad sticks: using story glue to make it flow

Hey folks. Yesterday I got to the final proof of the book. So close! In preparation I've improved how these articles appear on the web, do take a look and share (if there's anything you've enjoyed reading, that is!).​Anyway, this week... useful lessons from Breaking Bad, Southpark, and what not...
4 months ago • 2 min read

Death by Screens Tip: A sprinkle of selling ideas without sales: the micro-icebreaker

A guilty gap in-between emails... OK, I’ve been really lax writing to you over the past few weeks, with good reason. The process of finalising the book to go to print was much more work than anticipated, if book_interior_final_final_final_v1.345.pdf is anything to go by! Anyway, I think it’s...
4 months ago • 2 min read

Death by Screens Tip: from babysafe to masochist, 3 tools to level-up your writing

OK folks, it’s a short one this week; I’m busy working with a new startup. Some good news about the book - the design of the print edition layout is 99.99% done! Let’s talk about some tools I’ve found useful, starting with the gentle option. Read and share this on the web​ Transcribe it:...
5 months ago • 2 min read

Death by Screens Tip: use Nemawashi to avoid surprising stakeholders

This week’s update is a heady mix of gardening, learning from Japanese business culture, power phrases for UX people, and to finish, my trip last week to Japan to keynote UX Days Tokyo! Sāikō! Read and share this on the web​ Failing about failing Within about fifteen minutes of starting the...
6 months ago • 4 min read
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