A result of my values and experiences.
User first, always
Obviously. Because otherwise, what’s the point?
I approach projects with a human-centered design process. An iterative design process capturing and addressing the whole user experience.
Form should serve function
Form can attract, form can inspire, form can communicate.
But all of that is pointless if it conflicts or even is neutral to achieve the desired function.
Partnership and congruence of the two is key.
People don't read
They just don’t. Instead, they scan the page, picking out key sections, images, words and sentences.
I look to communicate with this considered – with concise text, scannable layouts, objective language and visual imagery.
Find business solutions
As a designer, I believe that projects should be addressed holistically.
While designing for user experience, exposure to business systems and structures may mean solutions to business issues can also be addressed at the same time.
Nothing is perfect
Sure, some ideas are better than others. Some execution is better than others. But perfection is never reached. There is always room for improvement.
As a designer, I follow the Japanese philosophy of kaizen – constant, iterative improvement.
Seek win win solutions
Through design, solutions where both the user and the business win should be the goal.
Situations where the user is duped or the business is shortchanged should avoided.
Needs, wants & what is good
Identifying each of these categories is helpful to have clarity on. They may be one and the same or they may be mutually exclusive.
For example: A user needs to pay their bills, they want a credit card, what is good for them is money management training.
Naturally what is good is a judgement call, and must be ascribed by someone.
Allow for transition
Users don’t like to learn different ways of doing things. But often change is required. Part of the designers role is to reduce friction, guiding new habits and assist with change management.
Change may be what is needed, and what is good. Although implementation of this change is just as important.
Craftsmanship is not creativity
A beautiful piece of art can be painted; a delicate furniture item built; a useful, engaging website can be designed; and all without an ounce of creativity.
Craft and technical skill should not be conflated with creativity. Artistic expression or even design is not necessarily creative.
This is not to say craftsmanship is not valuable. It definitely is and in most cases, required more than creativity.
Creativity is not craftsmanship
Creativity can be found in all activities. A creative idea could sprout within business strategy or in processing data. Creativity is played out in the conceptual world.
Creativity is the development of unique ideas; And is a result of divergent (or open) thinking.
Craftsmanship is then the concrete execution of these abstract ideas.