Tuesday, February 7, 2012

A word for a thousand pictures

Well, maybe not a thousand, but a few. Maybe a hundred. And more than just one word. I mean, we’re wont to drivel on about pictures telling a thousand words and that’s pretty useful when we sit in a box all day and sketch things out and then justify it to project managers by saying that it’s critical to visualise and that it helps tell the story and the client will respond, like, totally strongly to that

Except it’s not always true. I’ve spent all day in a box sketching things out that, like, a client will totally respond strongly to, but they simply don’t tell the whole story. They don’t replace a thousand words. There needs to be some words.

And it’s those words which actually articulate the human behaviours and cognitive processes that I think really need to be understood, because it’s those that make the difference in this case. It’s about the emotional response and what that can tell us with regard to the design decisions we make. The pictures are nice, but on their own, however much I stand in front of them and wave my arms around saying things like “this totally expresses their engagement franchise model”, they don’t provide the full contextual description. I can’t have a conversation with the clients about how their customers are feeling and without demonstrating that, I’m not really going to honestly say I’m designing for a great experience. I’m just drawing good pictures.

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