Saturday, August 15, 2015

Design & Iteration (don't let your big head get in the way of success!)

I have an Idea!
So you have an idea and are now going to save the world with it......hmmm you think so do ya lol.

When I look around in the world today I see alot of sloppy design and it kinda worries  and makes me mad. Now I have a special interest in my example but I will try to stay nice and hope this educates and inspires.

 So in my previous post I mentioned higher learning and Mooc’s.
  The adventure and shot (s) that caused me to re-evaluate my thought process and thus summation was my bewilderment at some of the creative endeavors of my city’s council and subsequent projects designed (in theory) to make our community more attractive and (?) sustainable. Our CAO was a pretty astute individual but these things persisted and now he has been (illegally) fired. Upon receiving some very personal negativity to my queries at city hall I sought higher learning or an unbiased referee/ judge. As I had mentioned I did rather well (in my search) which gives me the confidence to write this (from a point of wisdom gained over 30yrs as a artist/designer).
  This place we call life is a rough experience and it is in our best interests since we are in the age of specialists to take that into consideration (and use said specialists) as we go about saving the world...

Now some of the idea’s put forward by me were used but only in a vague way and thus the end result is less than favorable! So to the topic of this post....

Just because you have a bit if design theory or have taken a few classes does not mean by any means that you are qualified as a designer. Ok you can arrange the living room too ...but still! You have a flare for the attractive but what you probably lack is experience and there fore you suck (just like I “did” in the beginning). That's not to say that you will always suck but when I look around I can see not much thought has been put into ( or maybe not enough thought) your project/designs.

 So new rules of thumb (as it were)

1) does your design visually enhance and balance in the environment it will be placed, displayed or will be used? ( you don’t want to over power anything....or do you?) 3 out of 5 random people must think your design “rocks” or its back to the drawing board for you! (does “your”solution fit the problem?)

2) Is it faddy? (like a “pet rock”) or cliche? if so your on the wrong track so start again. (faddy is not durable...notice pet rock sales are down lol...)

3) do you have the knowledge base to do proper or adequate research to be sure your design covers the who what where and why parts of ( ? ).......Will it meet the need or just your own magically thunk up issue? if you answer no to this start again or hire a better /more experienced designer.
4) Iteration is your friend and should be slathered very liberally all over your design in such a fashion that it is obvious to the seasoned designer that it was done. (couple things to keep in mind about iteration...what “you” want and what you end up with often will be something different than the original vision (which is good). Iteration is the key! When I design something I always draw/sketch out the idea(s) and then flesh them all out into something i can show people. The more iterations of your idea, product concept, image or ad etc the stronger it becomes. We do this to save money, ourselves from wasting time, and to ensure we have done the best job and covered all the bases within existing constraints.). Kind of like “measure twice cut once” only measure many times and test etc...before you commit to one design or direction
5) Geo-design is a term that in my opinion is “used to explain the relationship between geography and environmental design” in other words “geographical design”. But I think a better use of the word would be to not limit it to Geo spatial Intelligence, rather use it to describe the relationship between good design and the method used to achieve that end. In Geodesign we are taught that all things are related and or dependant on one another in a symbiotic way.....and thus the need for iteration & balance. An imbalanced boat has an increased chance of capsizing. Just sayin!

6) opinion other than your own is immeasurably useful and should almost dictate what you do in one way or another. Why you ask? well it may be your idea but the public that will use it, look at and potentially hate it ought to be consulted and taken seriously don’t you think (especially if they have skills & expertise you don’t have. Good design is about smart, practical, and durable/sustainable solutions to problems or gaps of service etc.... not about ego...oh and remember most respondents to you idea or market tests will lie about 25% of the time so if you get 3 of 5 to say yes can be sure of the value...demographic section tests are helpful too!

7) practice the word “No”...learn to embrace it....good design takes work...and lots of it!  Critique is not criticism its how you say, or are told “this could be better”. Remember “no ego”! Good design is about clean ergonomic form or solutions (imo).

8) This is the most important part..... Good intentions and enthusiasm do not a designer make. Some folks have it and some do not. There are many more things that must be taken into consideration when designing something than I have mentioned here, and just because you know them still does not give you the “skills “ you need to wield said knowledge. (here is where I will try to be nice....If you are an elected official please try to remember you have won a popularity contest....and in that end you are not a designer even though you can apply for and get a grant or lets think big and say you ran a hospital in your former life...sorry you still are probably not a designer.

So should the idea bug bite be prepared for an outcome you did not expect (within reason based on the kind of solution you seek), along with unexpected work and 11th hour changes. If you are going to make something make sure its sustainable, is a good fit according to data/test results, is beautiful and clean in form and does not reek of EGO!

 Good idea's require good design & execution, they (and buckets of money) also can be wasted by inexperience....

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