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#1NLab16 - Overcoming Creative Hurdles: "I Hate Yellow" and Other Lane Violations

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When biases get in the way, having a narrative to discuss strategic choices can help move projects forward. Creative Director Nate Denton explains how to have productive conversation about design decisions in digital strategy.

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#1NLab16 - Overcoming Creative Hurdles: "I Hate Yellow" and Other Lane Violations

  1. 1. NOV 2-4, 2016 Overcoming Creative Hurdles “I Hate Yellow” and Other Lane Violations
  2. 2. NOV 2-4, 2016 Nathan Denton @NateOneNorth
  3. 3. NOV 2-4, 2016 “I hate yellow.”
  4. 4. NOV 2-4, 2016 “I hate yellow.” “Make it pop!” “I’ll know it when I see it.” “Make the logo bigger.” “Let’s fill in that white space with something.” “It’s really liney.” “That image isn’t speaking to me.” “This is a really dark black.”
  5. 5. NOV 2-4, 2016 “I hate yellow”
  6. 6. NOV 2-4, 2016 “I hate yellow, but I understand why you chose it.”
  7. 7. NOV 2-4, 2016 5 Ways To Improve Your Chances of Design Success
  8. 8. NOV 2-4, 2016
  9. 9. NOV 2-4, 2016 Identify Stakeholders Tell the Story Iterate Know When to Step Away Do Your Research/ Use Your Research
  10. 10. NOV 2-4, 2016 Identify Stakeholders 1
  11. 11. NOV 2-4, 2016 Do this at the very beginning - Usain Bolt 9-time Jamaican gold medal track athlete Identify Stakeholders
  12. 12. NOV 2-4, 2016 Do this at the very beginning - Usain Bolt 9-time Jamaican gold medal track athlete Identify Stakeholders Early involvement benefits: • Less complicated in the long run • Accurate planning • Avoid bringing latecomers up-to-speed • Lessens the risk of derailment
  13. 13. NOV 2-4, 2016 Identify what you need from individual stakeholders, then inform them of that - Phil Jackson 11-time NBA Championship coach Identify Stakeholders
  14. 14. NOV 2-4, 2016 Identify what you need from individual stakeholders, then inform them of that - Phil Jackson 11-time NBA Championship coach Identify Stakeholders Example stakeholder involvement: • Overarching approach sign-off • Design feedback • Specific insights • Progress check-in
  15. 15. NOV 2-4, 2016 Different stakeholders require different setups Identify Stakeholders
  16. 16. NOV 2-4, 2016 Don’t include anyone that isn’t necessary Identify Stakeholders
  17. 17. NOV 2-4, 2016 Identify the most important voices and use them as champions - Vince Lombardi Hall of Fame NFL coach Identify Stakeholders
  18. 18. NOV 2-4, 2016 Identify the most important voices and use them as champions - Vince Lombardi Hall of Fame NFL coach Identify Stakeholders Your dream team: • Leader(s) of marketing • Leader(s) of practices • Leader(s) of organization • Your experts (us)
  19. 19. NOV 2-4, 2016 Do Your Research / Use Your Research 2
  20. 20. NOV 2-4, 2016 Identify and understand your users and their needs Do Your Research / Use Your Research
  21. 21. NOV 2-4, 2016 Identify and understand your users and their needs Do Your Research / Use Your Research Understand user priority: 1. Clients 2. Recruits 3. Media 4. Internal Often times when it comes to design approval we see this order can change into: 1. Internal 2. Clients 3. Recruits 4. Media
  22. 22. NOV 2-4, 2016 Identify the design goals - Ed Hochuli Strongest NFL official of all time Do Your Research / Use Your Research
  23. 23. NOV 2-4, 2016 Identify the design goals - Ed Hochuli Strongest NFL official of all time Do Your Research / Use Your Research Example goals could include: • Unify the brand • Create a minimalist and modern interface • Develop image-driven content • Differentiate us from all of our competitors
  24. 24. NOV 2-4, 2016 Test your designs - Barry Bonds After steroids - Barry Bonds Before steroids Do Your Research / Use Your Research
  25. 25. NOV 2-4, 2016 Test your designs - Barry Bonds After steroids - Barry Bonds Before steroids Do Your Research / Use Your Research Ways to test: • Client testing • Agency testing • Unknown testing • Guerilla testing • Internal testing This gives you qualitative and quantitative data you can leverage to sell your design decisions.
  26. 26. NOV 2-4, 2016 Otherwise it becomes a fruitless exercise in subjectivity - John McEnroe Tennis great and world class complainer Do Your Research / Use Your Research
  27. 27. NOV 2-4, 2016 Otherwise it becomes a fruitless exercise in subjectivity - John McEnroe Tennis great and world class complainer Do Your Research / Use Your Research Wants • Needs more blue • Too dark • I don’t like that picture • Needs more pop Needs • Illegible • I can’t find what I’m looking for • Doesn’t work • Loads too slow VS
  28. 28. NOV 2-4, 2016 Iterate 3
  29. 29. NOV 2-4, 2016 Removes pressure - Tatiana Kashirina Russian weightlifting champion Iterate
  30. 30. NOV 2-4, 2016 Avoids overconsumption Iterate - Joey Chestnut Competitive eating champion
  31. 31. NOV 2-4, 2016 Provides continued momentum - U.S. Olympic Relay Team Iterate
  32. 32. NOV 2-4, 2016 Provides continued momentum - U.S. Olympic Relay Team Iterate Momentum flow: • Ideate • Low-fidelity sketch • Wireframe • Style tile / mood board • Hi-fidelity Concept • Prototype • Test *Not all are necessary for every project
  33. 33. NOV 2-4, 2016 Brings decision makers along for the journey which ends in more efficiencies - U.S. Olympic Bobsled Team Iterate
  34. 34. NOV 2-4, 2016 Brings decision makers along for the journey which ends in more efficiencies - U.S. Olympic Bobsled Team Iterate You – “We think we can come up with some really compelling case studies for the site. Plus, we want to make this page more about what we’ve done for our clients as opposed to focusing on internal members of the organization.” Agency – “That’s a great insight. We can easily make that work. Give me just a sec...” Sample Iterative Scenario Between You and Your Agency
  35. 35. NOV 2-4, 2016 Brings decision makers along for the journey which ends in more efficiencies - U.S. Olympic Bobsled Team Iterate Sample Iterative Scenario Between You and Your Agency You – “This is exactly what we need. Great job!” Agency – “Thanks! Wanna grab a beer?” You – “Absolutely. First round’s on me.” Agency – “You mean something like this?”
  36. 36. NOV 2-4, 2016 Tell the Story 4
  37. 37. NOV 2-4, 2016 Sets up the research Tell the Story - U.S. Volleyball Team
  38. 38. NOV 2-4, 2016 Sets up the research Tell the Story - U.S. Volleyball Team We want users to explore important thought leadership on the homepage. Need Example of telling a story to frame the solution
  39. 39. NOV 2-4, 2016 Sets up the research Tell the Story - U.S. Volleyball Team We want users to explore important thought leadership on the homepage. In our research and testing we discovered that less than 5% of users clicked beyond the first item in a homepage highlight carousel. Need Insight Example of telling a story to frame the solution
  40. 40. NOV 2-4, 2016 Sets up the research Tell the Story - U.S. Volleyball Team We want users to explore important thought leadership on the homepage. In our research and testing we discovered that less than 5% of users clicked beyond the first item in a homepage highlight carousel. Therefore, we avoided a carousel and instead designed a longer page scroll that exposes all of the thought leadership we want users to engage with. Avoid: Our page is long because carousels don’t work. Need Insight Solution Example of telling a story to frame the solution
  41. 41. NOV 2-4, 2016 Mitigates subjective knee-jerk - Anderson Silva MMA Champion Tell the Story
  42. 42. NOV 2-4, 2016 Makes the stakeholders feel more involved - Canadian Synchronized Swim Team Tell the Story
  43. 43. NOV 2-4, 2016 Makes the stakeholders feel more involved - Canadian Synchronized Swim Team Tell the Story Perceived involvement leads to: • Feeling part of something greater • More empathy • Better understanding • Higher investment • Design evangelism
  44. 44. NOV 2-4, 2016 Validates decisions - Chuck Norris 6-time Middleweight Karate Champion Tell the Story
  45. 45. NOV 2-4, 2016 Know When to Step Away 5
  46. 46. NOV 2-4, 2016 Avoid concept fatigue - Mo Farah Most successful British track athlete in modern Olympic history Know When to Step Away
  47. 47. NOV 2-4, 2016 Stay focused on your goals - Ki Bo Bae Korean Olympic archery gold medalist Know When to Step Away
  48. 48. NOV 2-4, 2016 Stay focused on your goals - Ki Bo Bae Korean Olympic archery gold medalist Know When to Step Away Sally – “I was just checking out McFly & Tannen’s website and noticed they’re using a lot more color. It feels warm and makes me happy inside.” You – “Thanks for sharing. Our new visual identity system focuses on using sparse splashes of color to draw the users attention to key content and keep a fair amount of white space as an essential composition component.” Sally – “But it looks drab.” You – “Through our discovery phase a key goal was to incorporate a sophisticated and reserved use of color that reinforces interactivity and drives the users to more content. We tested the design and found that using color in this fashion increased the click rates by over 25%.” Sally – “I never would have guessed that. I like what McFly & Tannen are doing but it doesn’t sound like it aligns with our brand and goals. Thanks for helping me understand your decision.” You – “Anytime Sally. Quesadillas tomorrow?” Sally – “For sure. My treat.” Conversation Between You and Practitioner (Sally)
  49. 49. NOV 2-4, 2016 Go with your gut - William “Refrigerator” Perry 1985 Super Bowl Champion Know When to Step Away
  50. 50. NOV 2-4, 2016 What Can Happen If You Let a Committee Run Awry
  51. 51. NOV 2-4, 2016
  52. 52. COMMITTEE FEEDBACK ON THE CREATION OF EARTH.
  53. 53. Hi God, Thanks so much for the latest round of work. Really coming together. Few points of feedback:
  54. 54. 1 – Really liking the whole light thing but not totally sure about the naming system. “Day” and “night” are OK but we feel like there’s more we can do here. Thoughts? Definitely need to nail this down ASAP.
  55. 55. 2 – Re: the “sky”… not really feeling the color here. Would like something that pops more. Please send additional options.
  56. 56. 3 – Appreciate the work on the sea and ground, but right now there’s way too much sea. The ground is getting lost in it. In general, sea does not resonate well with our users. Was talking with the team and the idea of having no sea at all came up. Thoughts?
  57. 57. 4 – Are the winged birds final, or placeholder? Some kind of weird stuff going on with those. Just want to get some clarification before giving more feedback.
  58. 58. 5 – Seas teeming with life is fine, but again, we need to reduce the sea. This is a showstopper for us.
  59. 59. Realize it’s Saturday and you were planning to be OOO tomorrow to admire your creation and everything, but I’m hoping you can keep rolling on this through the weekend. Looking to you and your team for a big win here. Thanks!
  60. 60. NOV 2-4, 2016 So In Summary…
  61. 61. NOV 2-4, 2016 “I hate yellow”
  62. 62. NOV 2-4, 2016 “I hate yellow, but I understand why you chose it.”
  63. 63. NOV 2-4, 2016 Identify Stakeholders Tell the Story Iterate Know When to Step Away Do Your Research/ Use Your Research
  64. 64. NOV 2-4, 2016 Overcoming Creative Hurdles “I Hate Yellow” and Other Lane Violations

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