Tuesday, May 12, 2009

5 things all designers should know

Jack Schulze has popped up on my radar several times in recent weeks. His Here and There projection project is fascinating and could literally change the way we visualize geo positioning. A designer at the core, Schulze has a refreshing viewpoint on his (and my) profession and many of his tennants echo mine.
"I’m personally most excited when I’m involved with something I’m literate in, but technically unfamiliar, when I’m in pursuit of something culturally new or playful. When there’s a sense of discovery or itchyness about newness, that’s when I’m happiest."
Well, that's me for sure. And when responding to, "What’s the most important lesson you’ve learned, and who taught it to you?" he says:
I learnt this lesson from Spencer Thursfield, an old tutor of mine: No one cares about what you think, unless you do what you think. No one cares what you do, unless you think about what you do. No one ever really cares what you say. You get the work you do. If you want to do something else start doing it.
I am once again nodding my head in a big "yep!" Finally, here are his 5 things all designers should know:
1) Don’t use processes like User Centred Design or Usability dogmatically. Learn your trade and do it properly and you’ll be able to deliver work confidently.

2) Talking about your work does not directly improve the actual quality of your work. Ultimately design happens in the world and in your hands, and not in your mouth.

3) Once it was possible for designers to hide in their vocations and ignore the context around their work. Designers are better now because they include business, processes, media and software in the substrates they work with.

4) Some people (they are wrong) say design is about solving problems. Obviously designers do solve problems, but then so do dentists. Design is about cultural invention. There are some people who want to reduce the domain of design to listable, knowable stuff, so it’s easy to talk about. Design is a glamorous, glittering world and this means they can engage without having to actually risk themselves on the outcome of their work. This is damaging. It turns design into something terrified of invention. Design is about risk. We all fear authentic public response to our work, but we have to be brave enough to overcome.

5) Always have nice pens.
All well said, Jack. And thanks to Snarkmarket for the heads-up!

No comments: