Brevity is the concise and exact use of words in writing or speech—a necessary skill for designers.

Brevity means you are quick, accurate, and precise. As a designer, it hones your communication skills while simultaneously refining your design thinking skills. I was reminded of this after a long conversation about iPad’s mute button on Twitter with other designers.

Twitter is great for brevity. At 140 characters, it makes conversations more interesting and challenging. Throughout a given conversation, one must pick a single thought (sometimes more) to express in each Tweet. Each time I found myself iterating over my Tweet for over five minutes to get it just right.

Writing in any capacity improves our ability to understand things, and for a designer, it’s incredibly important to not just “do design,” but to discuss and analyze design in meaningful ways. Brevity is a natural effect of design. It forces you to distill interactions and experiences down to their simplest forms.

It’s at the heart of how stuff works.