Web user behavior is not what it was 5 years ago. The practice of “surfing” the web is non-existent. Users are online with an objective in mind, they are looking for something specific. Don’t clutter their experience with boring and pointless “welcome to my site” messages plastered on the home page. Give them what they want. If they’re interested in “about” content, offer a separate page that dives into this type of information. Otherwise, don’t waste valuable webpage real estate on a “welcome message”, especially if your return users enter your site to be greated by an outdated prerecording.
Design is solving problems. When a problem is solved, progress is made. As creative leaders, we are in positions to contribute solutions to our society; whether we are freelancers, working in corporate or non-profit organizations, or manage our own creative groups. From the moment we make the decision to take up the role of a designer, either in leadership or entry-level, graphic or furniture, advertising or consulting, we are marked with a social responsibility to better our society locally, nationally, and globally. It becomes our responsibility to question existing solutions and provide better, clearer, and more effective answers to the every-day problems. It is creating a more successful approach for an organization to communicate to its employees. It is designing a more intelligent method of conserving energy in a thirty-story office building. It is designing a brochure that communicates a product’s benefits more clearly. Every undertaking that a creative professional pursues, or is entrusted with, is an opportunity for him or her to take the ordinary and make is extraordinary.
I challenge all creative professionals to question every decision that is made in your line of work. Please understand, there are always elements of accident, surprise, and play during the creative process that yield valuable and interesting results. But, there should be a strict discipline to make every choice, every decision, and every step count. Why are you choosing a particular typeface? Why are you choosing to use a particular fabric for the upcoming fall collection? Why are you choosing a specific window size for the new building project?
During the creative process, if your decisions are based on the merit of ‘what looks cool’, and ‘what you like’, I strongly suggest you reconsider your decision-making method very quickly, or reassess your career path.
Your are responsible for making things better, more interesting, easier to use – not the other way around. You are responsible for contributing to the progress of the organization or individual you create work for.