Recently I attended the Reasons to be Creative festival in Brighton. After scribbling down numerous notes, I have tried to summarise some of the inspiring, sometimes obvious pointers, I took away from the festival.
Gimme5 is the most popular session at Reasons to be Creative, where the organiser invites speakers to give a talk in a strict 5 minute time period. There was a varierty of different speakers who all have different design vocations. These websites were my take aways from the seminar: http://expology.com/ and http://www.yb.nl/
Simon Collison is a thinking designer who held a seminar on the philosophy of restraint. He kicked off summarising the design process, saying “we design to communicate, and we speak in emotions”. He pointed to Frank Chimero who said “To delight someone is to give a small lesson in how to see the world as something good.”
Simon’s points were generally summarised in bullet point style, or using quotes to get his point across. Here are a few quotes and pointers, which I noted down:
“We don’t design web pages. We design systems.”
“Having complete freedom is possibly the worst way to start a project.”
Dave Snowden- The 5 C’s of Complexity- “constraint is key to understanding complexity…”
Make sense of the constraints you’re given.
Look for constraints you yourself can apply.
Make constraints a feature or selling point.
Responding to the task is the simplest way possible.
“Unleash complexity in orchestrated phases, and increase power gradually.”
“Put the extraneous to one side and learn what the meat of a page is.”
“A timely audit can prevent catastrophic failures, and shine new light on what you’ve learned.”
“Don’t launch. Instead, sit with your work, think about it. Sieve it down and give it space.”
Simon advocated using an app called “Paparazzi“, which is a free app that makes screenshots of web pages in different design spaces. This could be useful when designing, to save mock up time and quickly display how a website would work on various platforms, to the client.
Finally Simon’s design process, particularly when designing for web, adhered to the following system:
Delight / emotion / surprise / systems / constraint / restraint / simplicity /complexity / focus / context / reduction.
Johanna Kollmann‘s seminar was all about collaboration hacks. Her talk was structured similarly to Simon Collison’s, using quotes and quick-fire points to summarise her point. Again here are a few I managed to pin down:
Design is sometimes about touching emotions and to “give people something to care about more than themselves.”
“Values represent our guiding principles: our broadest motivations, influencing the attitudes we hold and how we act.”
Intrinsic values: inherently rewarding to pursue.
Extrinsic values: centred on external approval or rewards.
Johanna summarised with Jean-Paul Sartre’s quote “Hell is other people”, which she used as an analogy to illustrate why sometimes we perceive collaborating on our work as negative….which should not be the case.