Clarity is a commodity.
It’s common for businesses, especially startups, to lack definition and to perpetuate chaos. With the fast pace, the quick iterations, impromptu brainstorming, staffing deficiencies, half baked marketing strategies, tech glitches and user experience shortcomings, creative solutions have had to be at the core of every startup that I have worked with or learned from.
This atmosphere demands fluid creative thinking and honest communication. To truly succeed, clarity needs to be established, and I see that as a designer’s job, as my job.
When it comes to designing a company or a service or a single product, I need order. I strive to understand what the business’s vision is and who owns it within the company. I need to understand the problem their business is trying to solve from their perspective. Once the stakeholders and I develop this communication rapport, I then talk to real people about the business’s idea and see if it resonates with them, and more importantly, why it might not.
Through this process I come to understand what the audience and the visionaries are thinking and feeling.
During this holistic process I’m recording what I am hearing while listening for the emotion behind what both sides are expressing.
Most importantly, I need to understand the psychology behind what people are experiencing when simply thinking about such a service? How do they react when they first meet the idea or use the product? How will that person remember it and then tell their friends about it? How do employees think and feel internally about what they’re working so hard to support and create? Emotive words and body language let me understand how people are feeling about the idea or service. Are potential users being interviewed genuinely excited about the idea or do they just want the $25 gift card?
When presenting my findings and ideas internally, the graphic design process begins for me. At this beginning, I have a subconscious sense of color, shape, and typography that I might want to produce. Maybe we hold a workshop to define the company’s brand archetype, maybe we simply discuss scenarios, but either way we start establishing clarity from data and ideas, forming order, and a successful business strategy.