The notably conservative world of design theory sets a list of seemingly ever shifting rules that we as designers must adhere to. If we want our product to succeed then we must make sure it ticks many if not all of a set of boxes predetermined by those who designed before us. If we think about this technique, it leaves no room for our own creative invention. If the only way we can choose for ourselves how to cut the sandwich is by the diagram that shows the various styles, we're not left with an option to be creative. Maybe we could spread the jam clockwise for one and anti-clockwise for the other and see which one works out the best but in the world of sandwiches it won't rock the boat.
There is a lot to be said for the benefits of design theory. After all, the tried and tested method is the one we should most logically apply to any of our efforts. There is a place in all of us that needs the experience of those who spent a long time analysing the various ways of doing something right in our field. This doesn't mean it's the only way of doing something right, it just means it's been done enough with success that it's become worth mentioning.
Many designers prefer to work in anecdotes rather than data driven information. This opens up the spectrum of possible, when a loosely defined idea replaces the to-do list of actuality. Much to the dismay of science and engineering types, the creative thinker often chooses to remain one step away from the science side of what makes something worthwhile. Big data decision making can help us to pick what to aim for, who to create for and why, but if we want to stand out in the marketplace then we need a sense of individuality that people can relate to.
It's a half and half equation, in order to get something on the right lines, we need to remember that we're working with people that all think differently. By doing things in the proper way, it makes sure that we apply the best chance possible to our own success. We can show others that we have applied theory and thought to our efforts and it can then help them feel more comfortable with our product. Then on the other side of things, we need to show that we have personal interests in what we do, and that we're excited about and enjoying being part of our project. Theory doesn't cover these human emotions.
We therefore need to apply our own creative flare to a portion of what we do, and sometimes we have to take risks and throw the rules to the wind. Depending on how radical or game-changing we intend our creation to be, we can choose to only stick to the bare minimum of rules. Such with art, we've all seen those paintings that look like nothing else we've ever seen, and the only thing that shows us what it is, is the frame and canvas. That's one example of the bare minimum. Again, we've seen the art which we'd never know was art unless someone had labelled it as such. This then asks the question is the bare minimum requirement for art the notion of it being so?
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When you sit down to create, think about the rules and regulations then think about how you can break them.
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