Safety, trust and vulnerability



This comment from Chris made me giggle, mostly because it brought back memories of conversations going back millions of years when I was working as a dev, and teaching myself to code on the job. There were so many situations (including board meetings) where I would bluff my way through so that I didn’t have to admit the things I didn’t understand. I wish I’d just had the courage to ask.

I’ve changed a lot since then. These days I tend to throw my cards on the table – I think we all learn from each other if we’re willing to be vulnerable – for every question someone asks, many people learn.

This article about team dynamics and safety is an interesting read: What Google Learned From Its Quest to Build the Perfect Team

Edit: It’s probably notable that I got that article from Dan Szuc’s Make Meaningful Work session, of which vulnerability is a theme.

I started this rambling discussion for a couple of reasons. Firstly, to remind you that we started this community to create a space that we hope is safe and nurturing enough that you feel comfortable asking what might feel like ‘stupid questions’. We want to build a place where we support and encourage each other while we learn.

I also thought it would be valuable to share our experiences.


In the last year one of the best things I’ve learned is to ask ‘stupid questions’. People won’t think you’re stupid! Asking questions makes you more intelligent as you gain knowledge, and often, other people around you are thinking the same thing.

Also, I recently did a course on creative thinking, and one of the things I learned was what happens during brainstorming sessions:

  • It starts off with people giving generic answers, most people in the room will say similar things, all related
  • It then starts to peter off and go quiet on ‘ideas’
  • Someone then says ‘something stupid’ - This is the super important bit!!
  • Then other people in the room think ‘well if that’s the way we’re going then i have loads of ideas’
  • You now get some of the best ideas of the session - unique, novel ideas

So, saying something stupid is for the best!


Thank you so much! I have so many “stupid” questions, it’s nice to know there’s a place to go… Sadly, I live in the US, and I believe a lot of the expert designers are in Australia?? which means I have to wait for a response sometimes, LOL! Hopefully as the network grows designers from all over the world will land here!
thanks, @HAWK



Our split across the US and Australia is fairly even these days. If you ever get stuck with an urgent question, you could always try asking on our Slack channel. Are you a member? We generally only use it for Ask the UXperts sessions, but it’s always worth a shot. :slight_smile:


I am on the slack channel… but I noticed it’s not very active, so I haven’t attempted to use it… it looks to only be active when you have an event. But would be an amazing resource!!! I love that more pple are joining from US, but you all from AZ have been great! and you always give awesome feedback!


You’re correct. It was a bit disingenuous of me to suggest it because as a general rule I try to drive most of the discussion here, partly because I don’t want to spread myself too thin and partly because the ephemeral nature of Slack means that there isn’t value for others in the future.

It’s always there as an emergency “I need an answer now” back up though.

All going to plan, as this place continues to grow (we’re getting 20-30 new members per week) there will be a much bigger pool of experienced practitioners to learn from.