The challenges of design will explain the questions that you need to ask, in your work and in your team
Design is challenges, a landscape of lose knots and questions, in disparate need of order. It’s important to ask questions but it’s not always an easy task to ask the right questions.
There is a mentality, a tabu of the unknown. We are expected to be perfect, being competent and successful. We are managed and measured by our achievements, in order to evaluate our success. But within these expectations, we forget that in order to learn, we must fail. In order to deliver achievements, we must first overcome challenges.
Drawing similarities from the theory of evolution; giving a criteria such as target group, culture, functionality, communication and media; a blank canvas will evolve into a perfect adapted solution, in the hands of a designer.
Changing a criteria, could invalidate the entire design and the work will have to further evolve and adapt, just as the designer will adapt to the criteria.
Each question will enlighten your horizon, starting from the unknown shadows. As you search for the borders of your canvas, challenges will emerge from every corner. Each challenge, each question defined, will shape your border, your canvas. As you start to understand your playground, you will understand your possibilities. Without asking questions, you will never know what could have been.
Creating designs on achievements alone, is a gamble, hoping to get the answers right to a question you don’t know.
A common problem arise, when designs are not targeted the consumer, but instead, the client or management commissioning the work. This scenario creates conflicts in the entire progressive design process and is a common problem for any designer.
The client needs to approve the work, but doesn’t understand the process and is inexperienced or opinionated, lacking common knowledge about the designers advanced world and experience. This can easily lead to my first statement; design is not a matter of taste and is not created by a committee. The client needs to understand that they might not like what they see, because they might not fall into the criteria for the design which is targeted the consumer, not the client or the colleagues.
Working together in this process will insure the end result and teaching the client in every step, is part of the process, giving the client faith in the advanced skill-set of the progressive designer who must understand the mindset of the consumer and the client.
The end user will need product satisfaction and the client will need concept satisfaction.
Our brain have a tendency to normalize the why, the question. The less questions and answers, the less hassle we go through. We rule our day with routines and optimized processes. We don’t like obstacles, we don’t like questions, because we don’t like the lack of answers. We get frustrated and stressed as our inbox overwhelm our attention with questions.
Standardized, normalized and public opinions becomes shared unquestionable information. We value social answers without judging the truth, the fact. We skim trough the daily industry news as scientific facts, written and rewritten pocket philosophies. We watch podcasts and convey their message as the gospel. We read books, this book, without questioning the words, why?
Our brain process information by accepting it as the truth, avoiding the obstacles, avoiding the why. When we avoid this important aspect, we avoid going deeper and discover the details, we become superficial and our ideology becomes hollow.
A student of mine asked the why, “Why is the green color so calming?”
“It is only calm, because you believe it is calm!”, I replied, without sounding like Morpheus.
He then kept going, uncovering new layers in his question, “Why do I believe it is calm?”
“Because all your experiences with this color have been a positive and calming”, I replied.
He was on a roll and went on, “Why?”.
“Because most people have the same believe as you, that the green color is calming, therefore all marketing is created with this believe and the cycle continues”.
We don’t ask the why, when we lack the imagination to ask the question and the confidence to seek the answer. Children master the why, because they exceed in confidence and imagination, not constraint by the adulthood reality, the negative code of behavior. We must let our questions be heard, we must let go of the tabu and seek the answer, not wondering about our intellectual perception when we ask the question.
Our most accomplished explorers and innovators have had the strength and self confidence to seek the answers and go beyond. They defied the social stigmatism and went through the unknown, filling their brain with puzzle pieces, raising up and above the answers, completing the picture and evolving our human understanding.
In order to overcome challenges, you must ask the right questions. Dig into the details and simply ask why.
We all have it, that feeling that you just know the answer. We don’t think about it, it’s just there, written in your words, effortlessly spoken, wrapped in an assumption that this will resonate with your audience as loud as in your head. It came to your inner attention as easy as the air you breath and as such, you assume that it will resonate with your peers with the same ease.
When your knowledge becomes at the tip of your tongue, manifested in routines executed without friction, then you have a good basis for growing, bringing your knowledge towards the extreme, the epiphanies. Good enough is not great, but it’s good enough for creative and inspiring solutions that will resonate.
When the pieces fall together, when the puzzle becomes the single undoubtedly picture, when that picture becomes the big piece and that piece becomes part of the big picture, epiphanies emerge.
Epiphanies is a state of mind where the dots suddenly connects and the picture becomes clear as the sun, highlighting the path, the truth.
Connecting the dots will bring you closer to your epiphanies, building on your strong and undisputed knowledge, your intuition. But this state of mind doesn’t come cheap, it takes on an average close to ten-thousand hours for knowledge to become intuition.
Reaching an epiphany, seeing the bigger picture, is like a mental orgasm, energizing your thoughts and visions. True insight is not only about analyzing and studying the market, it’s about accumulating knowledge, connecting the dots, expanding your insight as you find the hidden secrets. Let your mind become a databank of previous success, creating a guideline through obstacles.