Recently, I’ve been thinking about when is the best time to get someones attention. How could your message be interpreted and received by editing simple variables?
I walk past this campaign / idea / initiative(?) every day
It’s very pretty. Well done Design team. Pretty stuff is the big idea of the Westfield mall. However, I can’t help feeling there are two huge opportunities missed here, and perhaps a vacant mall unit is not the place for this…
Why are there no actual signs of homelessness here — just this sign?
Why isn’t this positioned where dwell time meets audiences consideration — paying for your parking, walking out of the mall, next to the actual pavement?
I’m going to take a bet why.
Because it’s too uncomfortable for these brands to have these reminders next to your shopping session, the brief was about being pretty next to the other pretty retailers +use RFID please.
How effective is this thing if it’s not actually stopping people?
The space should be used to rotate a real story, a real person and real objects, that you have to really deal with as you pass through.
first in the screenplay, next in production and finally in the edit.
This film essay video below is brilliant. If you haven’t got 18mins to watch it, all you need to know is — making things is hard, you have your own perception on what you’ve made and what it’s communicating. Then comes along someone else and they see it differently. And again, and so on. You need these people.
Star Wars was a mess in its first screening and idea. It took a lot of effort and humility to address the less than perfect to make it somewhere—some might say—close to perfect.
How often do you let someone edit your work?
How happy are you to admit it isn’t ready?
Are you building this process and mindset into your work or are you being caught out by others peoples last minute feedback?
I keep thinking about workflow and processes that allow you to get an idea down but keep it moving around. Onto Milton Glaser. In this interview he says:
“I move things around till they look right”
There’s something in this comfortableness of changing things. I like this idea.I keep editing these posts I’ve been publishing. I’m aiming to get ideas down that are in my head. I know the words are not great, they are just ok. Giving myself that space to edit and learn feels right though.
For my work output and ideas I keep coming to:
Write it like you’re saying it to your friend
Then re-write it for my Director to read
Now re-write it for our customer to hear
Finally, this jogged another useful process — Upworthy had a guide to content that went around a lot in 2012, the bit I often cite is the “write 25 headlines”
The idea is that you keep going with that edit, keep refining to get the rubbish and the half good out the way.
Design challenges: Why ‘how’s it going?’ is the worst question to ask
When you have a design or business problem to solve, what steps do you take?
Do you get your head down and sketch out ideas?
Do you turn to the internet for inspiration?
Do you talk to anyone who will listen?
Before you do anything, firstly, see if you’re thinking about the entire ‘thing’.
A buddy taught me a problem solving model he uses daily: [Problems, Plan, Progress], shorthand — PPP. He’s a doctor working in A&E. Emergency wards are fast paced, critical and stressful environments. The conversations he has with patients and his colleagues must be responsive, structured and analytical.
By contrast, problem solving a design solution allows open, ambient and sometimes irrelevant communication. Shooting the shit. Which is fine, if we’re getting closer to the answer and we’re remembering to question the problem. It’s doubtful anyone’s life is on the line in a design review*.
The PPP model might feel specific to doctors, but it’s transferable and helps force you into holistic thinking.
What do you think is the problem? Why are you right?
Using your experience and expertise, what is your plan for solving this and what have you done so far?
Are you right? Is the problem solved or are we seeing an improvement?
Why is the model robust?
It forces you to describe the full picture in 3 sentences, not just focusing on your amazing (proposed) plan
It communicates time and status
It opens discussion for improvement
It is transferrable to colleagues, no lone rangers here
It is not subjective
Too often when we focus on problem solving we have a bias to the activity of just ‘doing’. PPP forces you to continuously monitor not only your evaluation of the problem but the efficiency of your answer.
Asking ‘how’s it going?’ often won’t tell you much about what’s actually going on.
*Some designers will tell you they have been close