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#ProTip: One simple secret for designing better things

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Dave Wiskus thinks many designers are in need of an attitude adjustment.
Dave Wiskus thinks many designers are in need of an attitude adjustment.
Photo: Jim Merithew/Cult of Mac

Cult of Mac is at WWDC and AltConf, fishing for ProTips. The world’s biggest gathering of Apple developers is a rich hunting ground filled with alpha geeks, experts par excellence. What’s a ProTip? A ProTip is a nugget of knowledge, a little bit of expertise from someone in the know — a pro.

SAN FRANCISCO — Designers can be a picky bunch, always ready to pick apart a colleague’s creation or slap down an idea with some withering snark.

But interaction designer Dave Wiskus is prescribing an attitude adjustment for his fellow creative types, especially those who seem to be engaged in some sort of bitchy competition to come off as the smartest person in the room.

“Just say no to cynicism,” he said Thursday during his talk at AltConf here. “It’s the enemy of everything.” (You’ll also want to avoid irony, sarcasm and passive aggression, which Wiskus called “gateway drugs” that can lead to full-on cynical addiction.)