Values and methods
Being a designer means having a very strong sense of ethics. It is impossible to build tools that should be used by humans without using a firm hand and a structured approach. Here are a few rules that I use during my practice:
- I design for human beings : any design project has the same aim: being usable and being used.
- as much as possible, I choose the projects where I invest my work in regards to their positive influence upon the world.
- I advocate for good design practice rules with my customers: I will advise them when going for 2 creative proposals is not a good idea, I notify them when the project's objective needs to be put in question, I invite my customers to join me in the very conception of the project and inform them about my choices and why I made them.
- as much as possible, I push for a deep collaboration between my customers and me, a collaboration based on trust and the pursuit of a common goal: make our project successful.
- Design thinking,
- Iteration, agile project management,
- Design cards,
- "post-mortem" project analysis.
I defined myself a purpose matching my values and supporting my decision making process:
A few design myths which need to be debunked...
We always need several creative proposals / several mockups so we can choose the best one : this very persistent habit is still very common in web agencies and big companies. But it is not only time consuming but extremely useless. It can even be a threat to the overall quality of the work. Design is not decoration: it is the very act of building the relevant solution, be it visual or else. By systematically asking for two proposals, you risk that your provider's creativity gets tired and that she/he loses precious time rather than focusing on one very good solution that matches the project's requirements. Of course, it happens that I sometimes deliver two proposals when the project requires it or when there is several answers to a problem. In this case, I will ask my clients to choose with me. Nevertheless and as much as possible, I avoid nurturing this very bad habit that I consider as a mere illusion of choice. I would rather work hand in hand with my clients to help them express their need the best they can so I don't lose time building a second useless proposal when the first one hits the target, so they can use their time and budget wisely.
It is OK to ask for a preliminary piece of work prior to sign a quote with a provider : I made the choice not to deliver any preliminary work before I have my hands in the project. It would be unfair to me to work on something for which I cannot be paid for and that will not match the project's needs. At quotation stage, no one can guess what the project will look like. I would rather focus my time and efforts (as well as your budget) on the project itself, not on a random sample that will not match your expectations, for I would not have had enough data to create it. If you wish to see a few references of mine and have a sense of my "visual writing", I would be happy to share some with you.
There's no way we change the objective that we set to the project prior the hire of a designer! : when you hire a designer, it means that you are looking for a specific expertise that you don't have yourself and that you are ready to listen to her/his advice. Despite all the preliminary work that can be done on a project, despite the creation of a thorough specifications document, it can very often happen that a designer raises questions that you did not think of before. It can also happen that during a project, we realise that we are not going in the right direction and that we should aim again. And of course, it can happen that the first hypothesis we build together is not the right one and needs that we work on a brand new iteration of the project to refine the initial bet for the overall project's quality. Even if it means that you should grieve the initial idea that you once had.
- No need for detailed specifications, anyway our project is still secret, I can't give you more data: if your idea is still confidential, I will be glad to sign your NDA. Because in order to give you a precise estimate, I need all that you can give me so that I understand the project and can work on it later on. It is impossible to assess how long will a project last or how much it will cost based on minimal data. It is even dangerous for both parties to commit without the maximum information about the project. If you are still in an insufficient definition state forbidding you to give me more data about your project, we can start with a few hours of consultancy where I will assist you in the validation of your first hypothesis. Then we can put our hands in the dirt with clearer perspectives and realistic data.