Feeding your design team
To feed your design team is to recognize that like the public, they also have a huge appetite for new information. This new way of working is suggested as an addition to any existing leading objectives or purposes that the team already has. In addition to the providing the teams ‘north star’ I’m asking you to go further by feeding the team with an input of high quality/rich information, before the design season begins. This is on the basis that you’re expecting to get something great out of the other side. The old adage ‘you get out what you put in’ has never been so relevant to working better with your design team.
Most design teams are used to creating and sharing content that is supposed to inspire both the wider business and the customer. Flipping this on head and inspiring your design team could quickly generate measurably positive results. This input of information/inspiration should not be regarded as an objective or purpose for the design team to work towards but rather an umbrella concept or theme that unites the entire team. A small portion of the entire team creates the leading concept or theme before the design season begins. I have mapped out the following example for clarity;
The lead creative team starts by interviewing the people wearing or using the product to try and find a common theme or behavior that could directly inform a visual output. This common theme could be based on what it feels like for a group of athletes to take the lead or how it feels to win in a competitive sport. The theme could be compiled into a formal output, such as a video that features particularly inspiring interviews or visual studies of the theme in question. The culmination of this small groups work would be presented back to the design team, at the start of the season in a formal setting.
The benefits of working this way are extensive. The core design team is led and inspired to generate stronger work. The physical work or the output is likely to look more visually cohesive in market. This approach to the design process also enables other departments to closely align their direction, since this work would happen early enough to give other departments time, to effect their own strategy’s and outputs. The final element to consider is that there is very little risk in proposing this as a working change, on the understanding that the team are in a position to review and feedback at the end of the project.
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