Why it’s important to have a conversation with your work:
Imagine you are having a conversation with a friend, detailing your latest personal drama (e.g. relationship/family life/work issue). You’ll discuss how you feel about certain decisions or situations which occured and how each eventually panned out. You may ask questions such as, “How can I change this?” or “How could I make the situation better?”. You’ll (hopefully) get responses, which you may agree with or disagree with, and you will both discuss at length all the available options in an effort to solve the problem at hand.
Sounds natural, doesn’t it? I’m sure we all do this, every day.
Now imagine you applied this problem-solving logic to your work.
Imagine your latest project is the friend you are having a conversation with. You’re sitting at your desk, and whether you’re working by hand or digitally, you begin having a conversation with your work. You ask it questions such as, “How can I change this?” or “How could I make this project better?”.
By opening up this communication channel between yourself and your work, you will be led to ask further questions such as, “What happens if I move this over here?”, “Is there a font which may be better suited?”, “Is this the best use of negative space?”, and “Is this the tone the client wants to communicate?”. And deeper and conversation will go, exploring every option until you have a piece of work where every element on the page has it’s own specific purpose which has been considered by your in-depth conversation.
This is how I work, and I personally believe having a conversation with your work is incredibly important as it enables you to explore every option for every single element on the page. Too often I’ve seen designers who simply plonk text or imagery on a page in a hurry and leave it there, without considering the best use of space, the best colours, or even the tone of the client’s brief. I feel this way of working inhibits the designer’s ability to produce a detailed and considered piece of work which communicates the needs of the brief.
Perhaps next time you’re working on a project, try having a conversation with it, and see how it goes. I’d love to hear whether this has worked for you. :)