On Less Talk, More Prototyping

I’ve never received a bad reaction to a working prototype from a client. Who can say the same about their PowerPoints?

The digital industry is moving faster than ever. Work needs to be shown, rather than talked about. Agencies need to walk-the-walk and not just talk-the-talk when it comes to showing clients concepts. Working prototypes are far more accurate, compelling and tangible than slides in a PowerPoint presentation.
~10 steps to effective creative prototyping for ad agencies

On “Creative” Job Titles

As I mentioned before, I couldn’t agree more with this:

We’re one of the very few creative industries that codifies who gets to be creative by putting “creative” in their title. Other types of creative companies, like IDEO, expect everyone to be creative. We need to let go of this arrogance and allow creativity to come from everyone and everywhere.
~John Winsor, CEO of Victors & Spoils

It’s not about not using the title “Creative”, it’s about not restricting its use to those traditionally considered creatives.

OK Go on Creative Boundaries

Some wise words from OK Go frontman, that can be applied to everything from music videos to web development.

[…] don’t let your budget or your technology be the defining parameters of your ideas or your work. It doesn’t matter how great your idea is if you can’t execute it well, so define your creative boundaries more narrowly than your logistical ones: make the creative rules tighter than the financial reality, not the other way around. Then you’ll have all the resources you need to do that particular project well and people will see the work, not its failings.
~Damian Kulash

On Publishers becoming the Best Ad Agency

Content creators are in the best position for delivering engaging content. Brands want that. Agencies sell what brands want. Hence this idea.

This is the same concept behind Netflix “House of Cards” tv show. Pure marketing. It is intended to strengthen the relationships with the customers by adding value. It is doing advertising by the book.

It begs the question: Why shouldn’t publishers become the new agencies? After all, publishers know how to use content to capture a web audience far better than agencies do. They already own an audience and they know what resonates. —Publishers Poised to Become the New Agencies

The evolution of the designer role

Web design as we know it needs to evolve. The device revolution we are living demands more advanced design techniques that the ones we now use. If the current pool of professional designers can’t understand the shift it’ll be the next generation that will fill the void.

The pixel is dead. Long live the pixel.

One of the reasons that I’m excited about retina screens on laptops is the fact that they are starting to shake everything up. If there ever was one common term about web design that everybody could understand that was the “pixel”. That’s simply not true anymore. With the retina displays we are forced to face the fact that a pixel is not the proper way to measure a website.” Pixel-centric design is not the answer. The Pixel is dead. Long live the pixel!

Add to the retina displays, the diversification of screen sizes, ratios and orientations, touch interactions and the disappearance of the mouse, etc, etc. We can’t accommodate this device revolution with the same design methodologies we’ve used so far. We need a design revolution.

The design industry is up for a rude awakening

The process of building a website so far has been that of designing static layouts on Photoshop, packaging them up on a PDF for client approval and then handing off to a development team for execution or “production”. It is clear that this approach derives in a fossilized representation of a site that can’t accurately communicate the intrinsic malleable nature of the web; and because we separate design from production we never surface and resolve those issues on time.

Moving forward with a system that isolates ideation from manufacture is not an option anymore. We can’t keep supporting a structure that hides from the designer how things are build. Industrial designers could never get anything done if they didn’t fully understand materials and production processes.

The 37signal’s blog put it simply when listing what they ask of a designer:

Are they able to code their designs in HTML/CSS? Can they go further and integrate their designs into the application source code? Can they talk shop with programmers? —What to look for in a UI designer

Designers must be coders and coders must be designers. Furthermore, they should become one.