A Book Apart

Preorder Design Is a Job, Second Edition—from Mike Monteiro

Oct 19, 2022

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Pages of the book proofs of Design Is a Job, second edition on a dark wood floor.

We’re so excited for you to read Design Is a Job—the *necessary* second edition—brand-new from Mike Monteiro, launching November 1.

Today we’re opening up preorders AND giving you a peek beyond the book proofs with our Meet the Book Q&A! Discover what inspired Mike to write this new edition, who should read this book, and more about what’s inside.

A Book Apart: The first edition of Design Is a Job launched ten years ago—what motivated you to write the second edition? Why now?

Mike Monteiro: Same thing that motivated me to write the first edition—I want to help designers. Design, especially UX design, changes pretty quickly. And the world, which both affects design and is affected by design, has gone through a wild transformation in the last ten years. The first edition no longer reflected the current situation. And since the book is still being read, and even used in school curriculums, I felt like it was my responsibility to update it to help people navigate the current situation. Darker times called for a different book. And this book is significantly different. It’s simultaneously a darker book and a more hopeful book.

ABA: What was the most challenging part of the second edition to write? What was the most effortless part?

MM: Cringing at things I’d written ten years ago. I was ten years stupider when I wrote the first edition. I doubt I’m ten years smarter now, but I’m certainly more aware of how much stupider I was then. If you reread something you wrote ten years ago and it doesn’t make you cringe… I worry for you.

The easiest part, and I’m not just blowing smoke here, was the editing. Good editing makes or breaks a book. I’ve been lucky enough that I’ve worked with some very good editors in my career, but once in a while you get an editor that’s on the same wavelength at the same moment in time and it’s like mend melding. I have no problem saying this is a very good book because Lisa Maria Marquis made it that.

ABA: In one sentence, what is your book’s driving, or most important, idea?

MM: It’s not your fault, but it is your opportunity.

ABA: Who did you write this edition for?

MM: Throughout this pandemic I’ve been doing workshops on Zoom. And as time passed, I was seeing folks coming in looking more and more spent. They’d just gotten out of one meeting, and had another meeting right after the workshop. Some of them were trying to do all of this while also taking care of kids. And most of them were doing it from homes where they had never intended to do this type of thing. ALL of them told me they were working much longer days than they’d ever had before. And these were the people lucky enough to be working from home during the pandemic! Companies used the pandemic to intrude into people’s homes and demand more from them than they ever had before. Many of those companies have been posting record profits during the pandemic. Many of these folks are now being laid off.

I wrote this edition for them.

ABA: How do you hope our industry will change once people read and apply lessons in your book?

MM: We are stronger together than we are as individuals. For decades this industry was plagued by Steinbeck’s “temporarily embarrassed millionaire” virus. We all thought being a worker was something that we had to begrudgingly endure for a couple of years at most. Then move to management, or even better—strike it rich on vested stock options. One of the joys of the last few years has been watching a rekindled labor movement rise up.

ABA: Why will readers want to read the second edition of this book?

MM: It’s significantly different than the first. And if you’re still reading the first edition, first of all—thank you, but you’re probably doing a lot of math in your head at this point to apply that stuff to the present. It might as well be a history book. The second edition is placed squarely in the present, with hopefully a clearer eye on the future.

ABA: Why “the necessary” second edition?

MM: Cause if it wasn’t necessary I wouldn’t have bothered to write it! Writing a book is a pain in the ass. And I think the label should clearly reflect what’s in the tin.


Learn more about the second edition of Design Is a Job

Preorder now, available November 1


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