In our VFQ Fundamentals course, we always showed how an idea in someone’s head tends to look very different once it springs into existence. Part of every design challenge is to put form to slippery, abstract ideas that only exist in someone’s mind. When a design challenge requires lots of different inputs and involves many stakeholders, it becomes ever more difficult.
Every project has an element of design. Whether it’s a change to an organization, a new process, a new product or service or new piece of software, there is always a need to design something that doesn’t exist yet. It’s in these elements that the output of projects work or not for users. These are the items that benefit most from feedback.
In his book, Creative Selection, Ken Kocienda tells the story of the Apple design process, and how he, as the developer of the keyboard that we all know and love on the iPhone, learned the power of the demonstration, and how they fueled the next iteration of design and development.
Demonstrations sat at the heart of the process and had a hierarchy to them so different leaders could give feedback and develop an idea. Given the number of design decisions required to build the iPhone, there were often many demonstrations before Steve Jobs ever got to see the latest and greatest implementations of ideas. It was these demos that helped Apple explore the depths of an idea and to create products that really work for people. Without a constant flow of demonstrations that solicited feedback, Apple would never have developed the products they did.
Can you establish a set of demonstrations to better connect with users and stakeholder? How might it better support your next iteration of design and development?