Bicycles don’t work

Only dumb people use bikes (for Formula 1 racing)

The first time I got on a bicycle it didn’t go too well.

My next few attempts also just failed and the whole thing was frustrating. It didn’t work. I would have been much better off sticking to walking on my feet.

Until I finally got it. I found the right combination of balance and momentum and of course I had a good coach. What a proud moment on my blue ‘Gitane’ bike, when dad let go of the saddle, my sister yelling in the distance. Then came the first crash.

I’m not going to lie, it was uncomfortable for a while, and there was blood involved (once, I even attempted to check the front tyre while riding — that did not end well). It took me a few years before I was able to do things like a wheelie or ride no-handed. Okay, I still can’t do the wheelie.

My point?

I regularly come across articles going something like “agile doesn’t work”, “Design Thinking sucks” or “UX is doomed”. Sometimes it’s targeted at a specific methodology or process.

To me that really sounds like “Bicycles don’t work”.

We must ban bikes because I don’t use one

I totally agree that as our industry evolves, so do our tools and methodologies. In a little while agile and the likes will probably have given place to new, better adapted ways of working with funky names. I agree that for that to happen we need to constantly challenge the current state of things. I want to be part of that conversation.

Now I don’t ride a bike these days, but it’s a tool that works wonderfully well in the right context.

If you have had a few uncomfortable experiences, if you have attempted to ride across a river, to take your whole family on a trip to the Museum (yes, all 5 of them on your bike), or crashed miserably on your latest ride, don’t pledge to never ride a bike.

Don’t blame the tool

Keep an open mind. It may be your best shot at a future problem. Or maybe it’s just not the optimal tool for you. In that case, be encouraged that it seems to work for others.

There’s a multitude of people solving a multitude of problems. Let’s embrace a diversity of methodologies.

Enjoy the ride
Categorized as UX

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