Redbean - My sometimes partner in all things design, Joel Flom, has been doing a bit of navel gazing of late and has come up with an insightful and honest view of the whole design field.
He has noticed that the user-centred/interaction/experience/service/information design field can be a bit self-interested at times which leads to what I call Digital Noise. This noise gets the hip young things doing groovy design sites and products extremely excited and leaves their clients stone cold. Why? Mainly because they are speaking different languages. The former is focussed on the means and the latter is focussed on the end.
If you know the current version numbers to more than three or four applications and you can rattle off arcane designer speak (like iterative redundancy like) you are living in a sea of digital noise. To survive you may need to stick your head out and see what the humans are up to (that is the people who pay for your services). Then if you want to be successful build some bridges between the technical and the client needs without swamping them in noise. Simplify, simplify, simplify!
Google did a bit of street research recently where only 8% of people they asked knew what a browser was. They think Google is the browser because that is where they start. What that means is 92% of your prospective clients don’t know or care about how you do, only what you do, or really, only what it means to them.
Recently at the Australian Human Resources Institute (AHRI) annual conference I got talking with some eLearning vendors re the state of play in content development. Here is Katy Morriss from Sydney company www.cadre.com.au telling us about the maturing of the eLearning customer.
If the embed doesn’t work you can view the video here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-EnZsrSM8nY
Where do you think the eLearning custom market is heading? Leave a comment!
I love this question. Is design too important to be left only to designers? It is a question that has been posed by Bruce Nussbaum at Business Week. http://www.businessweek.com/innovate/NussbaumOnDesign/archives/2009/06/is_design_too_i_1.html
In this post he quotes Anne Burdick who takes up, quite eloquently, that if designers don’t expand their thinking about design then others will do it for them. This is the same threat to a particular herd that has been felt before by, for instance, artists are threatened by patrons buying primitive art, ‘real’ musicians are threatened by folk music and so on. Now Designers are being threatened by sites promoting non-designers.
So if you can get around the absolutely whacko design of yellow and orange text and reverse video colour schemes then you should find the speech and supporting movies on the place of design pretty interesting.
So here is a question for you. What is the difference between a designer and a non-designer?