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Creative Arithmetic: Great Design Solves Problems39:48 with Ian Coyle
There is no formula for creating innovative design. Join Ian as he breaks down a few key insights he's learned in 15 years of leading creative endeavors. From design to technology to process, we'll discuss what it takes to make great work.
[BLANK_AUDIO] 0:00 [MUSIC] 0:07 How do we come up with ideas, where do we find our ideas, and really kind 0:12 of the start of every project, what does it take to to make a great idea happen. 0:16 So my theory for an a great idea, is kind of 0:21 the balance of the potential for awesome over the chance of disaster. 0:24 And I think all of us are kind of, when we're sitting in that moment when 0:29 we're thinking about what, thinking about the idea, what it is and what it can be. 0:32 Most of the time, it's this is gonna be 0:36 an amazing idea and then following right after is. 0:37 Now I have to make it happen and how am I gonna make that happen. 0:40 And if I don't, it's gonna be an epic failure. 0:43 So, I like to think of finding an idea. 0:47 And how, how we like to discover whether or not it's good or bad. 0:49 Because anytime an idea comes out of your mind or in, in a brainstorming session. 0:54 It typically falls into two categories. 0:58 The first is, it's a good idea. 0:59 The second is that an idea that seems like 1:02 a bad idea and there's a, a venture capitalist 1:05 in, for Y Communator who drew this ven diagram 1:08 when I wanted to expand on it a little bit. 1:11 We'll start with the, the good ideas because 1:14 the bad ideas I wanna get to later. 1:16 basically. 1:18 There are a lot of good ideas out there. 1:20 And when you're looking for a good, for a 1:22 great idea this is typically the wrong place to start. 1:23 Cause good ideas are safe ideas. 1:28 Anytime you say hey, why don't we do this and everyone in 1:30 the room agrees with you, normally it's because it's a safe idea. 1:32 It may be good and kinda like. 1:35 Not to poke fun at Ethan, but when someone says hey let's do responsive, 1:39 we need to do responsive design and everybody says, yeah that's a good idea. 1:42 And it's a good idea, but the question comes down to, is it a great idea? 1:46 And what ideas, how do ideas become great? 1:50 And where do you find them? 1:53 You can't look here because they're, they're 1:54 good, they're accepted and everyone knows them. 1:57 You just have to start looking in the bad ideas. 1:59 But to be fair, most ideas, most bad ideas are bad ideas 2:03 so you have to look at the [UNKNOWN] in between a good idea and a bad idea. 2:09 And that's where you find great ideas and often they start, a great idea starts. 2:15 It seems as a bad idea. 2:21 So for example, 2:23 let's take AirBnB. 2:26 You could, the first time you try to explain that to, to your parents, you, you 2:27 say, hey, I'm going to New York, I'm going to stay, I'm gonna stay in New York. 2:31 They, oh, where you staying, who are you staying with? 2:35 Oh, I'm staying with this guy, [LAUGH] he has an extra room in his house. 2:37 [LAUGH] >> You know? 2:40 Oh, yeah, where, where'd you, where'd you find him? 2:42 Is he a friend of yours? 2:43 No you know, I've never met him before. 2:44 [LAUGH] 2:46 >> I don't know, he has a place listed on the internet and I thought it'd be great. 2:46 Okay how did you find out about it? 2:51 You know, his good ratings, a lot of stars. 2:55 And I don't things he's gonna kill me or steal my lap top 2:59 when I'm out so I think it's, it's gonna be a great idea. 3:02 And it is a great idea, but that first, the, the 3:04 first time you hear it, it sounds like a bad idea, 3:07 and really that's where I'd like to look for the most 3:11 powerful things that we think about, or the ideas that we find. 3:14 When someone, says, you won't imagine the amount of times in our 3:17 office someone starts out with, hey this might be a bad idea, but. 3:19 And that's when I start listening. 3:23 Cuz that's normally when someone looks is 3:24 actually thinking outside of the normal bounds. 3:26 Of, of what to do. 3:28 Their looking at something that may not be established. 3:29 And really and that, outside of that comfort zone. 3:32 And that's kind of the balance and that great idea. 3:34 One side is gonna be awesome, the second side could be disaster. 3:37 But to make it great, you kinda ride that line very thinly. 3:40 The, the next the other section I like to look 3:45 at, when I think about creating great work, is luck. 3:48 Along the way, I've been very fortunate along the way. 3:53 I've had great clients. 3:55 I've always had a great team that's worked with me. 3:56 and, and every time we've gotten to do a project. 4:00 Crazy deadlines, but at the end of the day, we get 4:02 that little bit of luck to kind of help push us through. 4:05 And I used to start this theory here where good luck is hard work. 4:07 Cuz people would say, you got really lucky 4:11 with that or you're really fortunate to have them 4:13 as a client or you really, that, that project, you, you got a lot of luck on. 4:15 And I always say no, it was, I had luck, but at the 4:18 same time it was a lot of hard work to get us there. 4:21 And I like to. 4:24 I like to tell, tell a story here from Nike Better World. 4:25 And, that project when they reached out to us, it was a nine month project. 4:28 And we started probably i think, early 4:33 Fall, launched in the beginning of the year. 4:35 And or late Summer. 4:38 And we, we basically had nine months to do it. 4:39 And we worked with word Wieden and Kennedy. 4:42 And for the first seven months, we 4:44 just kinda kept iterating and iterating and iterating. 4:46 We tried, we probably went through 4:49 three or four different websites, complete redesigns, 4:51 looked at a lot of different things, and finally nailed a concept we 4:54 liked, probably about two months left in the project and then with about 4:57 two [CROSSTALK] weeks to go we, we had a final design signed off. 5:01 Maybe- 5:04 >> [INAUDIBLE]. 5:04 >> three weeks ago. 5:04 We had final designs sign off and a pretty solid concept. 5:06 We really liked it. 5:10 But the creative team at Widen and the 5:11 creative directors, we all kinda got together and 5:13 felt like we really wanted to push ourselves 5:16 with some extra time that we had left. 5:17 And, I think, with two, two and a half, three weeks left, we decided we 5:20 should try to redesign this site and try 5:24 to nail something really awesome at the end. 5:26 And I think came down to the last photo shoot, I 5:28 think it was probably two weeks before, three weeks before go live. 5:31 And Dwayne and Seth, one of the creative directors there. 5:35 We're on a photo shoot, taking, taking the final photos and Dwayne was 5:38 actually sending me IPhone shots of the shots as I was taking them. 5:41 I was in the Conference room at Wyden, and we. 5:45 And, I was programming. 5:47 And, just like, dropping these shots and quick one selecting, taking the shoes, 5:49 putting them into the site, and, They came back and they, they, I think. 5:52 They were a little. 5:57 They said they were a little frustrated. 5:58 Like, hey, we have this crazy idea we just, 5:59 kind of, kicked over some shoes and started throwing 6:01 them up in the air, I took some photos 6:03 and he sent me some iPhone shots and messaging. 6:05 And, I, I put them in the site. 6:07 Didn't really think too much of it we didn't like them at the time. 6:08 They came back we were playing around with some new photos, 6:11 and I accidentally uncommented some code, left a little bit left one 6:14 of the images in there and all of a sudden one 6:18 of the shoes is just floating on top of the other shoes. 6:19 And then well, I turned the screen over and we looked 6:22 at it like that, that's the idea, we're gonna do that. 6:25 And so we, we played around with it some 6:28 more kind of got the background working, the,the foreground working. 6:29 Shot some new photos and two weeks later we launched 6:34 the full site complete redesign based off the parallax from there. 6:37 And that was kind of that moment of luck or inspiration in that story. 6:41 But I wanted to kind of take a look at what really makes luck 6:46 and if it's required to to find these great ideas, how does that happen? 6:49 So doing some basic designer math I look at it and 6:55 I say, at face value, good plus luck equals hard plus work. 6:58 And so I wanna isolate luck and, and I do my simple math. 7:04 So I subtract good from both sides, for I learned. 7:07 And I get luck equals hard work minus good. 7:10 And, I kinda see that. 7:14 And to me, that sort of comes down to this. 7:16 Luck equals mediocre work. 7:19 If I've work really hard and take good out of it, that's kind of all I'm left with. 7:21 And I think of one of the creative directors 7:25 at Wyden, he would always, he would look at 7:28 some stuff we did and one time we showed 7:30 him some stuff and he looks at it and goes. 7:31 What the [UNKNOWN] is that, what, what it is, I do not want. 7:33 And I look at this, and I, I think the same thing. 7:36 If luck is mediocre work, really the equation should be good work is hard work. 7:39 And you're gonna need luck along the way, but 7:44 real, continually pressing on yourself to find that extra 7:47 bit of, oh, of inspiration throughout the entire process, 7:50 even when you're almost done with the entire project. 7:54 We try to figure out, how can we tweak this and make it a little better, 7:56 at the end, and you can, you find that luck and you make that luck yourself. 7:59 So the, this is the third section, failure, and it's kinda my favorite 8:05 section I think, I've learned mostly in my life through failure, and through. 8:10 Just learning what, learning new things from all the, all the mistakes I've made. 8:16 For me, design solves problems. 8:21 We're definitely visual people, we're creative but in 8:25 the end of the day, design solves the 8:28 problem for our consumer, for our user, and 8:30 this is kind of where we've always been and. 8:34 But the time is kind, is kind of changing right now. 8:37 And with our increased deadlines, speed to get products done, basically 8:41 I think we're finding that we can't wait for the perfect solution. 8:46 We tend to be perfectionists as creatives, but usually, and now I'm finding more and 8:49 more, that if we try to wait for a perfect solution, The problem is change. 8:54 And our solution is out of date. 9:00 Whether it's through new technologies coming out. 9:01 New interaction models coming out. 9:05 We can't wait for for us to find a 9:07 perfect solution to a problem, because it, it changes. 9:10 And so the new model for me, the new model for 9:16 working in our, in our lab is kind of do it first. 9:18 And then fix it later. 9:22 I kind of learned a lesson from one of our, one of our developers for a, a 9:24 Nike project we were working on and we had I think an insane deadline of, of three 9:28 months to produce a new interactive footwear wall 9:32 that you could go up to the, to the, 9:36 to the wall, customize the shoe and it gets 9:37 made in 15 minutes in the back of house. 9:40 And I think we had, I think I pulled a creative director on him. 9:43 Said we have three weeks to get to a first prototype and I want 9:46 it to look good, even if it doesn't work right for this first one. 9:50 And after he looked at me and, and decided not to punch me 9:54 [LAUGH] he said it's gonna look good and it's gonna work good, too. 9:59 and, kind of just started to re-imagine what it 10:03 takes to, to make, make these projects in today's world 10:06 where we're not afforded the luxury of time always and 10:10 it comes down to being very iterative about your process. 10:14 And, and, and on, on a note about failure. 10:19 For me I always like to say failing isn't failure. 10:21 were, you gonna fail a lot and we need to fail a lot in order 10:25 to come up with great ideas as I said with a good idea those are 10:28 safe and if you want to do great work you are going to need to 10:33 be willing to put yourself out there and, and fail enough to learn from it. 10:37 Realize that those fail, those failures that you 10:41 have, or those failings that you have aren't failure. 10:44 And, and failing is kinda the action. 10:47 And every time, as long as you're taking action, you, you're move, moving towards 10:49 where you know you wanna go, failing is an integral part of the active process. 10:52 And failure is simply just a result that happens but it's not, 10:57 it's not the end of what happens when you have those moments. 11:01 You need to continue. 11:03 To, to innovate. 11:04 So the fourth part of the equation for me is process. 11:09 And kind of coming up with a new process 11:12 for how, for how we look at, at doing work. 11:14 Typically today it's, it's fairly, it's fairly linear, 11:18 and we're working, we working towards an iterative process. 11:21 And so I wanna walk you through a quick example of the typical linear process. 11:25 Strategies gets the brief and they put a lot of 11:31 thought into it and they come back and say this, 11:35 this is what we're doing and its really smart and 11:38 they hand it off to UX and UX says great. 11:40 We're taking this. 11:45 And now we're gonna make it that way and it's well thought out. 11:46 They, they, they do their, their wire-frames, looks 11:51 great, and they hand it off to visual design. 11:54 And now visual design says great, that? 11:58 Now it looks like this. 12:00 And it's beautiful, it's well kerned, well type-set, has probably a 12:03 baseline grid, using great fonts, and they handed it off to technology. 12:06 And technology says, dude, it doesn't [LAUGH] work like that. 12:11 And they do it, and it's probably 12:14 responsive, and it probably, the frameworks are 12:15 great, everything works, and then we go to launch it, and it does that. 12:18 It doesn't look like this anymore. 12:22 And we've all been there with the project, where we get to the end of it, and we all 12:24 wonder, how did it get to a point, everyone along 12:27 the way, we had great ideas, great designers, great programmers. 12:30 At the end of the day, the thing we 12:34 were making doesn't look like the thing that we envisioned. 12:35 And that comes back to an iterative process versus. 12:39 a, a linear process and in a linear process, basically 12:42 it translates to don't [UNKNOWN] it up vs make it better. 12:45 And a linear process is basically don't fuck it up. 12:49 Here's what I did, it's, it's a great, great thing. 12:51 I hand it off to you, you take it, you hand it off to the 12:54 next person and everyone's just in charge of making their part smart and their part. 12:56 In, in their [UNKNOWN]. 13:01 In an iterative process everyone is focused on making it better. 13:02 So you're, you everyone jumps in and the ideas you release something. 13:06 We all look at it. 13:09 You make it better, you rapid prototype. 13:10 You fix it the next go around and you keep doing it. 13:12 And that's kind of, that's where we're at from, from our lab and I think that's 13:14 the next phase of where we're, we're all going, we all no we need to go. 13:19 Through the design process. 13:24 And then the last kind of part of of the equation for me is inspiration. 13:28 And it's probably the most integral part of, 13:33 continuing to make great work throughout your career. 13:36 This is, this is probably my career path. 13:39 T over me, and it, its obviously super basic. 13:43 I, I tend to look at it as. 13:46 Where I was and where I'm going. 13:48 And kinda learning from, from all those failings and everything I've done. 13:49 And really just kinda moving forward in a, in a pretty linear fashion. 13:53 Kind of in the up arrow direction, ideally, hopefully. 13:57 But then I look at, take the same chart and I map it towards quality of work. 14:01 And I think quality of work is a is, is a little more exponential, hopefully. 14:06 And it, for all of us it kind of starts and you 14:10 suck and then it sucks less and then you get kinda good. 14:12 Maybe a little better and then finally it should be [UNKNOWN] awesome and 14:16 this is the, this your quality of work trajectory that, that you're hoping for. 14:20 And then you kinda look at the funds scale. 14:24 And, this is kinda where it works for me, I don't for 14:27 you guys, I don't know for you guys but it sounded really fun. 14:29 [LAUGH] >> You love what you're doing. 14:31 Every day you're coming to work it's a you and 14:33 you'll stay up til 2 in the morning doing it. 14:35 But then at some point as you're going through 14:37 you start to say okay, It's not as fun. 14:39 It's still fun, but maybe not as fun as it once was. 14:41 And then you are to plateau for a bit. 14:44 And then, you start to question, is this really fun anymore? 14:46 I'm I, actually, having fun doing this job? 14:49 And then, you kinda dip for a little bit and 14:52 then, hopefully, again, you get to a point of fun again. 14:53 And again, this is a long term career. 14:57 I think, depending on where you are in 14:59 your career, you're gonna experience this at some level. 15:00 I know I experience it, probably a little more manically than this.I 15:03 But I like to call this center zone the Bill Wither Zone. 15:07 And he has an amazing quote that is, on your 15:11 way to wonderful, you're gonna have to pass through all right. 15:14 And I think that's one of the biggest things 15:17 that we as creators we have to deal with. 15:18 basically, there's a, as Ira Glass would say, you have talent, you have 15:22 your talent on one side and your taste level on the other side. 15:25 And it takes you a long time in your career 15:29 to bridge the gap between your talent and your taste. 15:31 And the fun diagram is unfortunately the ride that you have 15:35 to take to get from your talent level to your taste level. 15:38 Unfortunately he also [UNKNOWN] also followed up 15:44 this quote with one saying and take 15:46 a good look a round cuz sometimes that's as far as you're gonna go. 15:48 [LAUGH] But I want to leave that out for,um for you guys. 15:51 But but I think it's, it's very appropriate. 15:55 And the great discontent over I think a few 16:00 years ago asked a question to everyone in Brooklyn beta. 16:02 Are you creatively satisfied? 16:07 And they, they went out and they videotaped it 16:08 and they got a lot of really interesting responses. 16:10 And they put a great short film together and if 16:13 you haven't seen it you should definitely go check it out. 16:15 It's a really inspiringum, little short. 16:17 But for me, what was really the most, important 16:19 thing that I got out of it is kinda the. 16:23 The path that people took when they were asked this question. 16:25 And it's usually, typically, I would say 50%, maybe when 16:28 they were asked this question the first response is yes. 16:32 Yeah, I'm creatively, creatively satisfied. 16:34 And then they would kind of pause a beat, and their 16:36 like well, no I guess, I guess not, I'm not creatively satisfied. 16:39 And then they went to the next one and it's like 16:44 maybe, maybe I am, and then it kinda settled on sometimes. 16:45 And I think that's the, that's the, the plight of a creative person or a 16:52 creative designer, and I, I like to call 16:57 that the,the circle basically around the professional self. 17:00 At creative self and the personal creative self. 17:04 And I think for the longest, for a long 17:07 time when you're starting out in design or you're, 17:08 you're working on your design, you basically put your 17:11 entire self worth, creative worth into your professional output. 17:14 So the things that you do professionally sort of define you as a creative. 17:18 And when you're in the first fun cycle of your career, that works really well. 17:22 And you, you basically everything you do is fun, everything that you 17:26 make is you and the you, you hold onto it very dearly. 17:29 But, but at some point in your, in your creative career 17:33 you kind of get to a point where that doesn't always translate. 17:36 You, your, your, your professional output is actually not just yours. 17:39 It's owned by product owners and it's owned 17:42 by developers and it's owned by other people. 17:44 And part of, in that vision is actually a great vision, 17:46 but what happened is that part of your creative self, self 17:49 worth gets a little bit lost if you just rely on 17:53 your professional outcome to define, like who I, who I am. 17:56 And it tend, and it used to be who I am is my portfolio. 17:59 And my portfolio is what I do at work. 18:02 But for me, I, I think just as important to stay. 18:05 To stay creative and to stay engaged and, and to 18:08 continue to, to innovate and, and to make good work 18:11 is that you need to have a personal creative self 18:15 that's just as port, just as important as your creative self. 18:18 And that is something that, that's something you can own. 18:22 You can control completely. 18:24 And you can get your inspiration through what you're 18:26 exploring and bring that amount of fun back into it. 18:29 And when you're, when you're inspired there you can bring 18:32 that back to your professional work and continue that cycle. 18:34 So how do all these add up? 18:40 Basically the equation for me for creating great work. 18:42 is, is this. 18:48 Basically, ideas over process. 18:50 You need to have great ideas with a, with a 18:53 great process times the balance of your inspiration over your failures. 18:55 You need both in, in, basically. 19:00 And then add a little bit of luck into that equation to, to create great work. 19:03 And all that is my creative arithmetic. 19:08 Thank you. 19:13 [SOUND]. 19:14 Questions, yeah. 19:22 [BLANK_AUDIO] 19:23 >> Any questions? 19:28 >> What's the [INAUDIBLE] failure in your life experience? 19:32 >> Personal failure or. 19:36 Professional. 19:38 [CROSSTALK]. 19:39 [LAUGH] I think professionally, I think it was probably my first company. 19:39 I started my first company when I was 19, worked 19:44 on it for I think 7 years before I left, and 19:47 my, the biggest, I think the biggest thing I learned 19:50 and my biggest failure there was that I was, I was. 19:53 Really focused, I think, on my pro, professional creative self 19:57 where my output defined who I was as a creative. 19:59 And I wasn't, I wasn't able to let go kind of, 20:03 of, the reigns a little bit to let the company grow. 20:04 I think we got to about 20 people before I, before I left. 20:07 But I think I was, I wasn't ready to kind of step out of that role 20:11 and, and let, kind of, other people, sort 20:14 of define that vision for, for the company. 20:16 So. 20:19 >> Hi. 20:25 In the idea process that you talked about and, it happens in every project and, you 20:26 know, great ideas, bad ideas, at some point 20:30 you're gonna put hammer to nail and start working. 20:32 Do you just trust your intuition when you 20:36 know that that's, where you're ready to go? 20:38 Or because you can cope with ideas. 20:40 Forever, but- 20:42 >> Yep. 20:43 >> Gotta start working at some point. 20:43 >> Well, I mean, I think it's a great question because it's, it 20:44 always gets back to, how do you know that's the idea you wanna pursue? 20:47 And, and I think for me it comes back 20:50 to that moment of, putting yourself in that uncomfortable position. 20:52 Do you feel like it has just as much 20:56 potential to succeed, as it has potential to fail? 20:59 And normally that's a great idea. 21:02 When those two are pretty equal. 21:04 When they're not equal, you kind of, if it, you know, it 21:06 kind of slides back down and falls into that good idea zone. 21:08 And, and then sometimes just being okay to kinda 21:12 throw it all away and start over, you know? 21:14 I, I think from a lot of our work, basically the best ideas have come, and I 21:16 think we all know it, when you only have a deadline of three weeks or two weeks. 21:19 It, you tend to just magically find an idea that just comes to you. 21:24 and, and I think that's because you're trusting your gut. 21:27 You don't have time to do it. 21:29 So treating those ideas and, and honestly 21:31 for us it's hitting rapid prototyping pretty quickly 21:33 and then being able to, to vet an idea and be, okay throwing it away. 21:36 And being okay with that idea failing because once you can see it, you 21:40 know it fails, you throw it away, learn what was good out of it. 21:44 And then go on to the next one. 21:47 [BLANK_AUDIO] 21:48 >> So this is obviously the parallel design stuff, right? 21:55 And then there's Responsive there's a lot of you know, over my career there's 21:59 been a lot of trends like Flash and Responsive and all that kind of stuff. 22:03 Do you think there's another trend coming? 22:07 Is it something you're seeing now with. 22:09 You know, like, like a, like a Parallax or 22:11 Responsive that's gonna be like the next big thing online? 22:13 >> Well I mean, I don't know if I'd view them necessarily as trends. 22:16 I, I think basically as an industry, we were all 22:20 collectively trying to solve the same problem every two years. 22:23 And I don't know that the year part is accurate, but I 22:26 think that every few years, we're all kind of solving the same problems. 22:29 So I think at first with Flash, which we can call 22:32 a trend, and thankfully you know, it's not around as much, still. 22:34 But basically we're trying to solve how to add 22:38 fun and excitement and delight and joy to websites. 22:40 And that was what we were trying to do, and 22:43 Flash happened to be that solution for that moment in time. 22:44 After that I mean obviously there was some people and reaction kinda went 22:47 the other way and that's where HTML5 was, was, was born I think. 22:51 But part, the next, the next thing after that for me was storytelling. 22:54 People looked at, how can we tell stories better? 22:57 How can we take narrative to the web? 23:00 And I think that's potentially you know, where Parallax 23:02 came in a little bit, is just how do we. 23:05 Not rely on heavy animation, but how do we tell stories in a, in a different way 23:08 and, and how do we engage people to 23:13 continue to break the model you know, the fold. 23:15 And some of them are technical models or challenges that, that we were solving. 23:17 So things like responsive I think is is is just as much a content solution as 23:20 it is a technical challenge, because we have 23:25 so many devices coming out at the same time. 23:27 The next one for me I think, is actually 23:30 something I've been pondering in my head a little 23:32 bit, and I'm calling, kinda calling it context design, 23:33 which is to me, an evolution of where Responsive is. 23:36 And I think it's basically you know, responsive right now it, 23:39 it really solves context in one area, which to me is visual. 23:43 It's the, the, the tools that we have for Responsive. 23:47 Are what's the view for, pixel density, resolution, things like that. 23:50 You know that gives us one thing, and 23:54 to me there's a triangle of, the physical response. 23:56 So that's gonna be like touch phone, what, what's your, what's your doing. 23:59 The context of intent, what do I want out of this? 24:02 And then visual context which to me is kind 24:05 of a responsive design, there's, that's taking that first section. 24:07 But the other two, we're kind of extrapolating basically saying, if you 24:10 have a Viewport of 768, and we're assuming that you're on a tablet. 24:13 And we're assuming your intent is somewhere in between desktop and. 24:18 Mobile phone walking so you must be on a couch, kind of, you know? 24:22 You're using your tablet. 24:25 Or if you're on a small resolution of 320, you're walking 24:26 around on your phone, it's high contrast, we need to change it. 24:30 But we're making all those assumptions from a purely visual context, cuz all 24:32 we have is visual inputs, which is just the media queries and such. 24:37 The next. 24:42 Challenge I think will be, how do we get 24:42 technology into a place where it's actually letting us know 24:45 us as the creators of content and websites or technology 24:48 or apps the, the context in which they want it. 24:51 The physical context, whether that's environmental, environmental touch. 24:53 You know, mouse input, or, and then the intent 24:59 context, which is what I want out of it, 25:01 you know, I'm like going, am I walking while 25:03 I'm using it, am I stationary while I'm using it? 25:05 Those things, once we get all those three parts together, we 25:08 have all three of those contexts, then I think we'll be 25:10 able to define and develop apps a lot, a lot faster 25:13 and a lot differently, and I think that's probably the next one. 25:16 I think we're cha, a lot of it is. 25:19 Being worked on in particularly in the App world but doesn't quickly 25:21 translating over to, to web design and things like that as well. 25:25 >> Hi, if a potential client went to you and said, we 25:40 wanna hire you to develop a new idea, generate new ideas for us. 25:42 In tandem with another group that's gonna do it independently. 25:46 Would you be more, or less, inclined to take on the client? 25:49 Assuming you're entirely paid. 25:52 And do you think that's going to generate additional 25:54 ideas or is that gonna put you more into the 25:57 general, good, mediocre ideas component and can you talk 25:59 about pluses and minuses, please, of doing something like that? 26:02 >> Yeah, you see. 26:05 When you mean another group in tandem just kind 26:06 of like two firms working on it or two people? 26:07 >> Competing I guess. 26:09 >> Yeah, competing? 26:10 I would probably take the client if the client was good. 26:11 It would come back to the client, you know? 26:14 I think pretty often we're probably put into the p, that position. 26:15 And it, one, I, I think the best idea is probably gonna win. 26:19 But two, I, I actually think it does help the client to see other ideas. 26:24 You know, we, we work pretty much exclusively 26:30 with Nike on, in our, in our design lab. 26:32 And basically, they come to us cuz they trust 26:35 us to create, sort of, the next, or, sort of. 26:38 Look at the emerging technologies and, and come back to ideas 26:41 for them, for, for what they should be doing in those realms. 26:44 And I, and I think ultimately it still comes down to 26:48 what is the vision that you wanna achieve through the project. 26:51 And, like, your, your vision as, is, as one 26:54 firm is gonna be probably different than my vision. 26:57 But ultimately the quality at some level is pretty much the same. 26:59 It just comes back to whose vision matches up with the clients 27:03 and you know, for me I would always tend to go for. 27:07 I'd rather have the opportunity to present my 27:11 vision, that, even if someone else is doing 27:13 the same because ultimately it's just two, two 27:15 different styles or points of view on the same. 27:17 Same topic I think. 27:20 >> With the when you worked on the 27:22 Better World site you know you basically said that 27:29 you pretty much scrapped whatever you had done 27:32 in the last two weeks of working on it. 27:34 Was there anything that you, any knowledge that you gained 27:36 from that iterative process that helped inform what you did? 27:38 And kinda the, the last two weeks or 27:41 was it just essentially just throwing out everything [CROSSTALK]. 27:43 >> No, I mean, ab, absolutely. 27:46 It was, we learned a lot from everyone, every round. 27:47 So I think we probably did, I mean by the 27:50 end of it probably six different versions of the site. 27:52 You know, but every round we kinda defined tone, 27:55 we defined Direction of copy and, and photographic direction. 27:58 And, how we wanted people to feel, I mean, 28:02 I think, for those of you who aren't familiar 28:05 with the Beta World site you know, it was 28:07 really I mean, not only the parallel site of it. 28:09 But we really have no navigation at all on the site. 28:11 And I think we had dots on the site. 28:14 And again, I don't know whether that's. 28:15 Good or bad model still today. 28:17 But at the time, really, we removed all 28:19 navigation and we, you know, we did the parallax. 28:22 And for us, it was more, again, trying 28:25 to solve that storytelling challenge of how do you? 28:27 How to engage someone without having to make them to click on something to do it. 28:29 And really, we learned that through every prototype. 28:34 You know, some of them. 28:36 Were side ways, some of them had dots. 28:38 Some of them did have navigation. 28:39 Some of them had big boxes, of navigation for different prototype versions. 28:40 And for us you know, again we knew we 28:44 were trying to solve a story telling challenge and that's 28:46 where we finally navigated our way to telling the best 28:49 story at that moment in time obviously using that technology. 28:52 >> Have you found any, consistency in where or 29:03 how ideas come to you or to your team? 29:07 Is there a certain environment that you find is more lucrative 29:12 to ideas like maybe taking a walk in the woods versus. 29:17 A brainstorm session in the office versus in the 29:20 shower or is it all random and completely by accident? 29:22 >> I mean, so if you all heard that, just kinda where do 29:27 you find the ideas and where, what's 29:29 kinda, is there a consistency in environment? 29:32 For me there isn't necessarily a consistency but I 29:35 think the, there's a few things that go into. 29:38 Cultivating ideas on a personal level, and ideas from a team level. 29:42 I think they're a little bit different. 29:46 basically, I think on a team level, the one thing I would say, is 29:48 making sure that everyone has the time to step away from that brainstorming room. 29:51 I think the brainstorming room is really important, and we put. 29:54 Something on all four walls, we have white board tables, white board walls. 29:56 We'll tape things up and we'll brainstorm. 30:00 But everyone looks at things differently so like, I may be a person that when I see 30:01 ten things in a room, I can look at it and throw out an idea at that moment, 30:06 but some other people need to hear a lot of things, go back to their desk or 30:10 go back home, go on a bicycle ride and then come back the next day with an idea. 30:13 So I think from a team environment I, it's really important to 30:17 be aware if you wanna get the best idea that, ideas out of 30:20 all the people is to make sure you give them time to 30:23 have their own moments to think on it, because ideas do, get influence. 30:26 And also some people just don't work the same way. 30:30 But from a personal side I think for me it's being very focused on kind 30:33 of the high level viewpoint of, my point of view, where I wanna take it. 30:37 And then honestly just taking a lot of time away from it. 30:42 Like I'll think about something, I might write a few 30:45 notes down, and then go on a motorcycle ride or 30:47 something like that and just kind of leave it behind 30:50 completely and then usually on the way back something happens. 30:52 Or you know, like you're doing something completely 30:56 random and then you find out, something sparks. 30:57 From the date in the past. 31:01 So, it's just a lot of time, and you don't have time in, in, in that sense. 31:02 You know, most of it's just trusting your gut with your first response. 31:05 And I think, just allowing that to also happen as well. 31:09 [BLANK_AUDIO] 31:12 >> What do you think of. 31:30 Atomic design approach. 31:32 Can it fit to any project? 31:35 >> Atomic design? 31:39 >> Yes. 31:40 >> I'm not sure I'm too familiar with it. 31:40 >> Brad Frost wrote the, the methodology methodology in term of the design system. 31:42 More like process from. 31:50 From idea to, to final be, be, believer of our products. 31:53 >> And what, you'll have to explain this a little bit more for me. 31:59 Is there something, is it about the process that's different? 32:02 Or is it about the implementation that's different? 32:05 >> About the process and the implementation? 32:08 >> I mean for,without knowing exactly what it is, you know, I think for me, I 32:11 would say that, you know, every, the process 32:15 to me, it should be pretty fluid, so 32:18 I think it's hard particularly now to say that you have a rigid process when you're 32:21 handing, you know, you have someone in responsible 32:26 for UX and then another person responsible for design. 32:28 or, somebody who's responsible for design not being involved in the, in the 32:31 developer sense so to me it's continual iteration as opposed to a linear process. 32:34 >> It's more about the process that was, agile rather than siloed. 32:41 >> Oh like Agile vs Waterfall? 32:49 Yeah I mean, and I think that's obviously you know, getting into project 32:52 management a little bit, but I think it's just as important to the 32:55 process I mean I, I think that, basically we kind of we work Agile, 32:57 but Agile does have some constraints with projects with, with normal projects. 33:04 I think Typically your client, at least for 33:09 us, is, is pretty much a work back process. 33:12 So they have a date. 33:15 January 15th of this thing is launching no matter what happens. 33:16 And Agile basically, doesn't always ladder up to 33:19 that when your working in a agency environment. 33:22 I think, it works really well for for product design. 33:25 And then you, you have kind of struggles with water fall, or work 33:29 back when you try to manage kind of ground up from Agile I think. 33:33 Does that maybe ans, help answer your question or? 33:38 >> Kinda close to. 33:40 >> Yeah well, [LAUGH] >> Thank you. 33:42 >> Yeah. 33:44 >> Hi again. 33:44 So like 33:48 everyone up here 33:52 speaking are pretty much web celebrities, so we all kinda know you guys. 34:00 Is there something that you suggest to get our work showcased 34:04 you know, like submit [UNKNOWN] award I mean obviously the the 34:08 Nike bit that you did was you know, stand apart but 34:12 what if someone like us is trying to get recognized for projects. 34:15 Well I mean, I wouldn't consider myself as much as a web 34:19 celebrity as some of the other speakers here, but so I think I 34:22 would say you know, for me, a lot of it is, it 34:25 is just producing good work that you believe in, that you're passionate about. 34:28 You know? 34:34 It's, it's hard to say. 34:36 Honestly, I mean, I think I took two years off Twitter. 34:37 so. 34:41 I, I have a hard time. 34:41 I go back and forth in my love-hate 34:42 relationship with, with social media a little bit. 34:44 But I, I think for me mostly is, is doing what you feel is most comfortable. 34:48 What is most passionate for you. 34:52 You know, and and as far as the work goes you know, if you're producing 34:54 good work that you truly believe in it will get out most of the time. 34:58 And then the rest of it is just how much do you wanna work on sort of your. 35:02 Public self, I guess I'd say. 35:07 As opposed on the work that you're doing, I think you know, a 35:09 lot of the challenges that designers and creators face a lot in their careers. 35:11 You kind of have to work on, I think, four things nowadays. 35:16 I mean the first one is obviously your skill set and talent. 35:19 But that's, if you put the effort in and that's what we love 35:22 to do, so that one you're gonna work on and that's gonna come. 35:24 For the second part is just general like, 35:27 business and team and presenting and pitching your ideas. 35:29 Like, you have to be just as good at, is telling someone about 35:32 your idea as your idea is, in order to get it out there. 35:37 And the next one is kind of just the, the whole side of, 35:41 if you're gonna do it on your own, the business side of that. 35:43 Again is equally as important. 35:47 And then the last one, I think is the, the social side of it. 35:48 And you may not, you may or may not be as good at 35:51 all of them, but those are four things that you kinda need to 35:53 take into account when you're trying to deciding to do it on your 35:55 own, or you're deciding to, to you know, to do it with a firm. 35:58 [BLANK_AUDIO] 36:01 >> Hi. 36:16 I was wondering. 36:16 Could you tell us more about the first company you started? 36:17 And cuz, why did you start a company so early and how you- 36:20 >> Yeah. 36:24 >> Ended up working at a agency, after? 36:24 >> yes, so I kindA have a long 36:27 story [LAUGH] history of, I've been doing this now 36:28 for about 15 years, maybe I started actually 36:32 freelancing in Italy, I, I graduated high school there. 36:35 And freelance for I guess around two years and but some of the worst websites in 36:38 the world out there basically my first website 36:43 ever was for a cement mixer manufacture the big 36:46 ones that you spin and keep the cement liquid so you can pour it into the ground, 36:49 The second was for a water northern Italian 36:53 water distillery or not distillery Like a cleaning company. 36:56 I don't even know what it's called. 37:01 [LAUGH] And then the last one was one of the last ones was for 37:02 a, a [UNKNOWN] distillery, which is probably 37:05 where I learned that, I learned about 37:08 design cuz to be honest with you, and I think we were talking yesterday, 37:10 like I, I didn't even know design was a field to be, to be honest. 37:13 I, I thought it was gonna, I could be a doctor, a lawyer, and engineer 37:17 And maybe you know, join the military if all else failed [LAUGH] on that account. 37:22 But I really had no, my father, my parents 37:26 are military so that's why I threw that in there. 37:29 But I really had no clue that it was 37:31 actually a field you could pursue and so I just, 37:32 basically at the time, probably 97, 98, if you 37:35 could do HTML, you could call yourself a Web Programmer. 37:38 And so I put, I did that for a few years. 37:42 And then i came back to to the States on an engineering scholarship 37:44 and then promptly realized that I just didn't want to be an engineer. 37:48 I was gravitating towards this thing called design 37:52 although I didn't even give a word to it. 37:55 And. 37:57 You know, at that point I, it kinda failed out of engineering 37:59 school and by kind of I completely failed out of engineering school. 38:01 I think my, my GP was 0.67. 38:04 I went to maybe six classes. 38:06 And I, I really didn't wanna ask my parents for money. 38:09 And so, I decided that I'd just start a 38:13 start an interactive or med, multimedia company at the time. 38:16 And Basically I met a business partner and the first thing we did was those 38:18 multimedia business cards/CD-ROMS and [LAUGH] for those of 38:23 you who remember those, those days were awesome. 38:26 Those were my fun days. 38:29 Just to put it out there. 38:30 That, that big peak of fun basically we had 14.4 modems at 38:31 the time and then on these little interactive CD-ROMS I could put. 38:35 Full video. 38:38 I can put, you know, anything you wanted on there 38:39 because I did not have any bandwidth restrictions at all. 38:41 So back in 2001 that was pretty amazing, Yeah so then we started, we started that. 38:45 You know, we kind of grew it together for 38:50 to about 20 people over seven or eight years. 38:53 And I think at that point you know, we were doing some pretty cool work. 38:57 Most of it was flash at the beginning and then afterwards I kind 39:00 of got to a point where for me I just I was unable 39:04 to sort of let go some of those reigns and kind of do 39:08 what I needed to do, sort of the creative director of a larger firm. 39:10 So and I knew I wanted to step more 39:13 into just kind of traditional design or take traditional 39:15 design values so I left that and started a 39:19 little letter press shop in Denver for two years. 39:22 And then kept freelancing a little bit then came 39:25 out to Portland then met Dwayne and we've had our 39:27 creative director duo and we did that for a 39:31 few years and then ended up merging up with huge. 39:33 Two years ago. 39:36 And we have ten people now working in our design lab. 39:38 [COUGH]. 39:40 >> Cool, that time? 39:43 >> [INAUDIBLE]. 39:44 >> All right. 39:45 >> Thanks to you. 39:46 >> Thank you very much. 39:46 [SOUND] 39:48
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