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In Chapter 9 of 12 in his 2011 Capture Your Flag interview with host Erik Michielsen, product designer and software engineer ...
Chris Hinkle shares why he takes an "Always Be Making" approach to product design. He notes the important early phases of ideation and design requirements, but cautions others not to get caught in these early phases and overlooking the importance of actually building or creating something.
Tags:Why Creatives Should Always Be Making,creative design,creative designing,creative process,creative profession,how to be creative,capture your flag,Chris Hinkle
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Erik: What do you mean by your personal motto of ‘always be making’?
Chris: There’s a process to which things get made, and to do things correctly and do things well, there are several phases to making something. There’s a design phase. Even before that, there’s kind of just a thinking phase, and, you know, writing down what this thing needs to do. it’s extremely important, especially to take the time to write down what you think of doing, translating to English, translating your idea in English and putting it into sentence form. You’ll probably rewrite that sentence 20 or 30 times before you move onto the next phase, and then that helps you understand what your idea is because we have these things that are – we have these synapses firing in our brain that we feel something is there but until we can serialize it, and explain and communicate with that idea, it doesn’t really exist yet. Until you can communicate it, it doesn’t exist. So you write it down, then you design it, and then you make it. ‘always be making’ is don’t get caught in those earlier phases. A lot of people will start in a loop and they’ll pick one of those phases and then say ‘that’s what I’m gonna do.’ I’m gonna write this thing down or I’m going to – someone’s gonna hand me what it is and I’m gonna design it. I wanna be a cog in this thing. But you have to go through all the phases. And because like the value of the writing down phase and the value of the design phase are validated only by the phase of actually building it and seeing how it’s used and seeing how it works, and you might actually go through all those phases, and even at the end say ‘eh, you know this thing doesn’t really – let’s move – let’s do something else.’ Or you might get all of it through the end and see people using it differently. Maybe there’s like this one aspect of it that you didn’t even intend to be the draw and they were like ‘that thing’s cool,’ then you take that nugget back to the beginning and do it all over again. But if you – until you take it through all the phases, it doesn’t had its chance to breathe or be alive yet.
Capture Your Flag creates a model of success college graduates and early- to mid- career professionals can follow by interviewing up and coming leaders about formative decisions and experiences shaping their careers.