The End of an Idea

Why do I have a picture of a trash can in my portfolio? First of all, if you look closely, it’s a recycle bin – not a trash can. Second, it’s full of ideas. I believe that any designer on my team should as quickly as possible get through their ideas, and be willing to throw them away.

Easier said than done right? Well, throwing your ideas away takes practice. My job as a design leader is to help my team work towards finished ideas. I didn’t say final ideas (deliverable-ready ideas that are solutions to business problems), I said finished ideas. Most designers use linear deductive reasoning to evolve their design work – and left to their own thoughts and rational, that reasoning can be full of wrong assumptions or inadequately constrained. I try hard to impress upon each designer in my team to start with a ton of ideas, and systematically push them towards a finish line quickly. In doing so, one can more easily see the problems hidden in their own ideas; and generate assumptions and considerations to drive progress towards real, valuable solutions.