I’m not a professional designer because the word “designer” doesn’t land within 100 nautical miles of my job title. However, I make a lot of things and I care about the things I make.
Part of that care is thinking about how these things will interact with the world. Who will use it? How will they use it? What will the environment be like when they find or need to use the thing I made? Will this layout make sense? Is it easy to understand? Maybe I am a designer.
Questions are the midwife of creativity.
I’m going to let that line breathe for a minute as that just came out of my fingers and I want to bask in it for a minute.
That was nice. Ok, back to the point.
I was at Blaze Pizza last night (you probably have one nearby) with my son and we were handed this stand with a card tucked into extolling us to share our feedback. Because of course, we were.*
As we’re waiting I look down and happen to notice, this card is unusable in its current form. The person who made it either didn’t know how it would be displayed or didn’t bother to think about it. Because you can’t actually scan the QR code while it’s in the stand.
If you look closely, you’ll see the bottom of the card is chewed up from being pulled and out and pushed back into the stand. There was a bin of 50 of these stands and they were all like this. The QR code didn’t fit into the circle of the frame, either – I tried that.
At some point, someone had to know. Someone had to mention that this thing couldn’t be used as it existed and that it was enough to bend down their response curve. And yet here it was, sitting on my table. Chewed up.
So, I implore you. If you need to make a flyer, draft an email, or do anything else that attempts to communicate, take a moment to think about who will be using it, and how.
*I’ll just say this now; I think a lot of companies think they need to gather a ton of data to make sure their shops are living up to “brand standards” but they do so at the cost of actually making the experience better for both team member and clients. There, I said it. Your surveys are dumb and if I have a problem I’ll just tell Google or keep it to myself and make a note to not return. Spend your energy delighting me and you can scrap all of your marketing dollars because we won’t be able to shut up about it.
If I had a nickel for every lame experience at an outrageous price that then asked me to tell them what they should already know (lame and expensive) I’d be dead under the weight of those nickels.