To show, not tell

Design can be used to create beautiful artifacts, brilliant interfaces, and meaningful experiences. But rather than simply focus on the end result, we can also use design as an engaging approach to help our clients face their very real, very complex problems. It’s still design, but it can be much less beautiful, and much less precious.

As innovators, we are surrounded by ambiguity, and we’re usually not alone. When we’re working together as a team and with our clients, we use design to constantly communicate. We rely on sketches, diagrams and illustrations to get ideas out quickly, to facilitate conversations, and to paint pictures of the future. At every stage of the process, we design to achieve alignment, by giving everyone something concrete to look to and say, “yes, that’s what I meant,” or “no, that’s not what I meant.”

Pro tip: When trying to make a video and combining voiceover, text, live footage, and motion graphics, try working it out with a physical prototype.
Pro tip: When trying to make a video and combining voiceover, text, live footage, and motion graphics, try working it out with a physical prototype.

We share our ideas, not by talking about them, but by demonstrating them, using whatever means necessary. Those white boards and sticky notes aren’t just for show—they are concrete tools to solve abstract challenges. Yet most of the time, innovative solutions aren’t as simple as a drawing on a whiteboard or clustered words on sticky notes, so we grab whatever we can find to make ideas tangible.

My tool of choice is a 6” roll of tracing paper—what’s yours?