Archive for February, 2009

Experiencing Our Environment

environmentWe are people experiencing our environments through products. As designers we are always looking to bring new, better, and rewarding experiences to people. Please post a link in the comments section of something/someone  you feel is dramatically changing our experiences.

Video referenced from http://www.wallpaper.com/video

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Repost

Great news! This might be old to some of you, but according to develop3d.com Autodesk will bring Alias to Mac users. For all you designers sporting two computers, one for 3d and the other for 2d this is a happy day. Check out the great article here.

appleauto

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The Bilingual Designer

OldTo some of you this may be old news, but I’ve been noticing a change in designer skill sets required by companies. The old way relied on a designer that had great sketching, innovation processes, and communication/presentation skills. This individual would spend most of their time sketching. Then, once a direction was picked, the designer would spend the rest of their time guiding a digital/traditional model maker. As you can see this relies on two people who each know one and a half “languages.” The designer is proficient in the language of 2D and somewhat familiar with 3D. The modeler, on the other hand, is well versed in 3D and lacking in 2D. Together they battle back and forth trying to communicate, eventually producing the final product.

NewToday’s valued designer is bilingual, well equipped in both 2D and 3D languages. This has two benefits.

1. It produces a cost savings by reducing head-count.

2. It shortens the translation time between languages.

If you’re still in school and find yourself gravitating towards one language, be sure to dedicate some of your time to the other. If you are a design professional, look for opportunities to gain other languages. Maybe you’re already proficient in 2D and 3D, looking for a third skill could only make you more valuable. What other languages have you picked up, and how have the benefited you? Feel free to share.

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Interview at idsketching.com

idsketching

robjensen

Hey ID-ers, I just did an interview over at idsketching.com, and wanted to say thanks to them and all those that read and commented. If you haven’t seen it yet, and would like to click here.

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Don’t Push on the Wall

lineup

A fellow designer, Paul, inspired this post. He recently left his consulting job, to take a direct position as a designer with one of his clients. He realized that design-leadership is not always the company’s priority. I think most of us can say, at on time or another, that we have seen our company take a path contrary to our vision (wither that’s to cost-save, wrong target customer, or just plain safe).

The Wall

Now hopefully that moment of disagreement quickly passes and everyone returns to the same page, but that’s not always the case. Some of us might belong to a huge company, or one that simply has an extremely small design team. In most cases this means the I.D. department takes a “back seat” regarding major decisions pertaining to the company’s products.  A designer’s first reaction may be frustration. If frustration is allowed to remain, then relationships within the working product development team can turn combative.  

 Leadership

Along with practicing patience and persistence, here are a few suggestions for removing and/or working around these barriers:

  1. Visually explain your side. We’re designers, use it to your advantage. Look for new ways to visually excite team members about your product goals.
  2. Become the resident expert on your product. Strive to learn all aspects of the business, i.e. engineering, marketing, and finance. The more you know, the better you’ll become at discussing your goals; you’ll possibly help them see your alternate solutions.
  3. If you are demanding design leadership, then be a design leader. To quote from “Zag,” “people like change, they don’t like to be changed.” Look to build relationships between coworkers. It’s easier to ask your best friend to follow you, then a complete stranger. (Wow, sorry that sounded like a fortune cookie)
  4. Pump out the work. To search for an innovative solution means you’re not satisfied with the initial result. It may be your best solution, but you can’t know if you don’t explore the alternatives. As you set a high standard work ethic, you’ll influence others to do the same. 

The walls we find in our company may be big our small, but there is always a solution to remove and/or work around them. Please, feel free to share with us what has worked for you.

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Some of my Ford Projects

Mustang race package

I created this site because I love helping and teaching others, so I will hardly ever post things directly about me.

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