As a designer, have you ever felt frustrated by having to break the creative process up into tiny task boxes that block the way to good design? Have you ever felt frustrated by a lack of structure, leading to endless rework, crossed communication lines, and plain old wasted time? There's too much process in some cultures, and not enough in others. And we declare that we hate process or we love process, as though that were an immutable quality of our souls. But what do designers need? We believe in a core, necessary way of sequencing design work to get the best results. Borrowing from Design Sojourn’s Brian Ling, we express this core as “Think – Draw – Make.” When process chafes us as designers, it’s a sign that an organization is unbalanced in one of these three key activities. If they front-load a project with tons of research and still can’t make a decision, they’re caught in “think.” If they ask us to come to the kickoff with wireframes, they’re caught in “draw.” If they’re hell-bent on getting to build immediately, they’re caught in “make.” Similarly, we’re not blank slates, either – each of us brings our particular skills to a project, and we have our own attachments, as well. Our presentation will discuss how to know which culture you’re dealing with, where you sit with regard to that culture, and provide some skills for how to bring yourself and the culture together back into balance.
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