Creating Fragments of Joy: An Open Letter About Design Mentality
Nic Belmonte, Manager of Brand Design
How many times in your career have you participated in a conversation around “design thinking,” or been asked to participate in a “design thinking” exercise? It’s one of the most commonly used buzzwords for organizations looking to enhance their product, brand or design experience. But what exactly does it mean?
A more recent example is Steve Jobs and the iPad. In 2010 at his highly anticipated product reveal, Jobs said, “holding the internet in your hands is an incredible experience.” He saw potential in the power of connection between people and technology, if only he could find a way to put it in our hands and touch it with our fingertips. Now, we are always one tap away from the world. So intuitive, even our children can navigate it with no instruction. So universal, it’s hard to walk down the street without seeing several heads down, hands clutching an Apple product.
The common denominator in beautiful, simple, and powerful ideas is a well-developed and masterfully executed design. In the latter iPad example, think about the number of people it took to conceptualize Jobs’ vision of ‘touching the internet.’ It took more than just a design thinking exercise to get everyone out-of-the-box. To create something that revolutionizes an industry, it takes a mantra—a mentality that everyone should embrace.
Don’t believe me?
What if Finance didn’t properly budget for the development of the idea?
What if eCommerce and digital didn’t make it accessible from anywhere?
What if Supply Chain didn’t maximize logistics efficiency?
What if Corporate Communications never promoted it?
What if Consumer Relations never picked up the phone?
Design mentality is something we all have inside us, it just takes patience and self-awareness to hone it. Take our tenacity and know-how, put it in a mixer, and set to blend. Break the linear structure of “this first, that next.” Prevent hurdles before we reach them because we’re creating together, communicating earlier, and working much more collaboratively. Start small, get quick wins, grow from there. Everything we need to do this is inside our teams, but we rely on each other to bring it out.
As we quickly approach a new decade, I challenge everyone reading this to take a moment and think about how your discipline affects the consumer. How can you make it better? Now tell someone and act on it. Creating that fragment of joy for consumers starts with that one small step.
Published January 24, 2019.
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