May 7, 2012
The most important life lessons are the ones that you can’t seem to remember but when you relearn them it’s like you never forgot. Make sense? The example from my life is the lesson that all good creative is iterative and writing is re-writing. As a writer, my first drafts always suck but it had to get out and onto paper. The next days and months consist of mercilessly hacking out unnecessary words, flowery prose and anything that is not absolutely mandatory to move the story forward. I know this creative process and flow but yet I still forgot this lesson when I moved to designing storytelling products.
“Omit needless words. Vigorous writing is concise. A sentence should contain no unnecessary words, a paragraph no unnecessary sentences, for the same reason that a drawing should have no unnecessary lines and a machine no unnecessary parts.”
–William Strunk, Jr.
This quote from the godfather of grammar should also be applied to product design. Pretty products are great and so is beautiful prose but if it gets in the way of user-experience cut it out of there. Only ship what is absolutely necessary. Fred Wilson wrote that, “when Jack Dorsey came back to Twitter, he said he was finally going to build Twitter 1.0.” This is Dorsey’s genius.
So I’m not the tech wizard on my team but I do consider myself a hacker. I hack out was is not absolutely necessary to build an amazingly functional and fantastic user-experience.
Jan 3, 2011
“Content and technology are strange bed fellows. We are joined together. Sometimes we misunderstand each other. But isn’t that after all the definition of marriage?” ~ Howard Stringer
Pretty sure I think about this quote everyday. Everyday brings that tension, that struggle between content and technology or as I like to look at it, between story and innovation. Sometimes it even manifests itself between the collaborators. The designers are fighting the developers and the writers are battling the IAs but when it comes together it can really be special. So let’s try to build better marriages, shall we?
Oct 17, 2010
John Maeda always has a ton of insight on the creative process and in this talk he doesn’t disappoint. One of the most interesting points for me personally was his thoughts on “struggle.” As creatives we seek to struggle and this is a major distinction between creatives and people who have suppressed their creative sides.
It is frustrating to struggle day in and day out but the only thing worst is to not struggle at all. Personally I’m currently seeking more struggle. Specifically, the kind of struggle that has me up at night and mumbling to myself. It’s the kind of struggle that drags on for months and fills up sketchbooks. Sometimes it’s painful to bash your head against the wall struggling with a creative challenge but sometimes banging your head against the wall is what jars the ideas loose.
Sep 30, 2010
The Ice Experience from seeper on Vimeo.
Given my fine arts background in media-based installations I really wanted to like this approach to launching the Ford S-Max in Europe. We’ve recently seen a lot of building projections as ads, and admittedly this one does take it up a notch, but maybe the ad guy in me is having trouble really seeing the value this brings to Ford. How does this story connect to the rest of the Ford brand story? Will this narrative continue on in other forms of media?
I will definitely be keeping an eye on this one. For now I’m grateful that Seeper and Ogilvy are experimenting in this milieu. Hopefully we can all help to step-up each others game and remember that when we use flashy technologies and artistic collaborations, that the brand story still needs to be woven into the narrative.