Thursday, September 4, 2008

Fixing the right thing

I'd been trying to understand the lack of spark between the design work that my company creates and the stuff that was produced by (outside-consultant) digital designers of note. While all the usual suspected reasons are very much there (more experienced, more creative, more exposed to the right culture etc), I think I stumbled upon a little truth today.

What I found out was that the designs that my team produces(and they are a talented lot in their own right) smelled of wireframes. To the uninitiated, wireframes make up for the foundation that a good design rests on. Its an earlier step that is more analysis than art.

If I have to compare,its almost like being able to smell each individual ingredient's raw smell in a cooked dish. Who'd want to eat that? Ah, thats chicken, and oh, here's mushroom and hey, that's salt :)

The work from the outside consultants- well, thats a complete dish by itself, with no raw smell of individual elements coming across. I shared this feedback with my inhouse designer.

I think I could see the joy of discovering what was going wrong in his designs from his face. I could see hope- of his own designs improving and evolving.Of course, this dialogue could only work because he is an open enough person. A lot of designers aren't. We then talked of a possible process which he could try to not make it smell like a wireframe the next time round.

The Joy of discovering what's really not working- and fixing it- a very rare one indeed!