Taking the scenic route
One of my shortcomings is that I often go with the first idea I get. The first good one that seems worth developing anyway. Oftentimes, this is the one I end up using as well.
At least if I don’t hit some obstacle along the way and have to start over from the beginning again.
As I want to end up with the best outcome for every project I work on I really need to do better than that.
I admit that the motorway to Liverpool didn’t really qualify as scenic, but it was something different compared to the norm. Perhaps this is analogous to what I should do – something other than what I always do.
The work flow in any and every design project I do follows a familiar route. Breaking out of my self imposed boundaries is not going to be an easy task but if the results are worthwhile I must at least try to change something. At some point – perhaps not all the time as what I’ve done so far does work quite well. But could work better.
After a search on the web I ended up with a dizzying array of flowcharts and infographics that made me quite literally dizzy, I looked at how some of the graphic and web designers I see doing great work go about making the right decisions.
I learned a lot from the Brighton based firm Clearleft as they have a number of case studies on their website. Here is a link: https://clearleft.com
One takeaway is that they involve their clients in the design process when this is possible (and in some cases end users as well).
In the case of the feasibility study for the design and technology of self-service kiosks for Suffolk Libraries they use a week-long combination of feasibility study and design sprint, which uncovered issues they had to work around.
Working on the The Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea’s fully responsive website they used a different method:
Beginning with planning a pilot scheme, performing extensive user research including public workshops with residents and council experts.
Creating an innovative information architecture design, a browser-based prototype for usability testing, and finishing off with giving training in responsive web design.
A different approach when needed – not stuck in one mode of operating.
Now I have at least some thoughts that hopefully will help me move forward in this respect. Instead of heading straight for the computer I will:
- Research my audience
- Get to understand who I am designing for
- Check out the competition
- Make sure I understand the media I design for
- If possible have others looking at your designs
- Choose the right tools, technology, and methods to produce the work
And I will remember to take the time to try more than one option as well!