The first week of the fall semester at CCAD is over. In my first lecture, I talked about the value of design, and how important it is for students to understand why their profession matters.

By and large, the design decisions we make on a daily basis are informed by disciplines like human factors and cognitive psychology and can directly impact our ability to interact and engage with our audiences. The ability to craft successful experiences by utilizing this knowledge is where the value of design is readily apparent.

Design engages at an emotional level, it can help to ensure that the path of acquiring information, or using a product or service, is as easy, intuitive and successful as possible, and can provide novel solutions to problems by offering a framework through which resolutions can become apparent.

From these overarching ideas, we can distill down a set of guiding principles that act as the core tenets of a design strategy and frame and support creative practices, regardless of media or medium.

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AuthorJoshua David
CategoriesDesign Strategy

I am fortunate enough to be attending TEDActive 2013 this year, and will be a part of the Mobile Project team. Below is a post I wrote for the mobile project blog about a few things I have been thinking about as it relates to the future of mobile.

There is a lot of chaos in mobile technology today, with dozens of devices and screen resolutions, different operating systems and browsers, and millions of apps, the way people experience “mobile” can be quite different depending on the phone or tablet they have and the ecosystem they have chosen to be a part of (iOS, Android, Microsoft, etc.).

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AuthorJoshua David
CategoriesDesign Strategy
TagsMobile

The design profession has expanded broadly and rapidly into digital media over the past ten years. This phenomenon has brought a wealth of new people, skills, research and techniques into the profession and allowed us to accomplish things we never could have dreamed of before this growth. There were (and still are) many benefits to this expansion, but also a few drawbacks. And as I look across the digital landscape, I fear we are beginning to loose our identity. As designers, we are so caught up in defining ourselves by the most recent niche or specialization to materialize in the industry that we are failing to realize the impact this is having on our field -- that with every new title or label that surfaces we are eroding our identity more and more.

Posted
AuthorJoshua David
CategoriesDesign Strategy

Every day I read articles and see comments about how branding (and subsequently marketing) is changing because of digital media, and how this is a necessary change to survive in the world that we now live in. This may be true, but very few brands are making this change successfully. 

Too often companies rush in to establish an on-line presence thinking that the existence of a Web site or a Facebook page means that all of their customers will suddenly flock to them with open arms simply because they are posting news articles or re-purposing their twitter feed. 

They are subsequently disappointed by the lack of engagement. And they try to use the number of followers or friends or likes or page views as a metric to justify the time and effort spent despite the fact that the awareness of their brand is nonexistent and the participation in their programs has not increased at all.

Posted
AuthorJoshua David

A successful experience, whether online or off, requires both intellectual and emotional attributes. The intellectual attributes provide for the tasks necessary for information gathering, learning and comprehension. The emotional attributes spark our curiosity, keep us engaged, and build trust.

In the past 10 years or so, we have seen a definite push towards emphasizing the emotional side of an experience, and with good reason. Emotional attributes are largely responsible for audience awareness, engagement and loyalty and are seen by many (including myself) as the cornerstone of emotional and social branding.

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AuthorJoshua David
CategoriesDesign Strategy

I just finished co-teaching a winter quarter digital branding class at OSU Design. The students were asked to investigate how branding evolves in a digital space (when coming from a traditionally print-focused strategy), and to develop concepts whereby the overall strategy was altered to incorporate a more cross-media perspective. We used a strategy worksheet to aid the students in developing their new approach. The worksheet covers consideration of both branding elements (audience, market positioning, brand essence etc.) as well as visual, interactive and content elements.

It is a useful tool for anyone working on developing branding or design strategy. Feel free to print and use as needed.

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AuthorJoshua David
CategoriesDesign Strategy
TagsOSU

What designers should be urgently seeking are those people who can act as champions of the discipline, who understand how very difficult good design can be to execute, who understand the level of effort, analysis and skill that go into making something that will resonate on an emotional level and who can articulate that investing in design can make a significant difference to their business.

via Design and Business: The Bottom Line « Helen Walters

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AuthorJoshua David

Are we on the verge of a new era? An area where society is governed by economies of trust and shared interest, by micro-payments, and real-time transparent financial transactions? An era where people are looking for meaning in every product they buy and every service they use and where their confidence is based entirely on the social and emotional relevance of the company that is behind the offering?

Posted
AuthorJoshua David

When people talk about the voice of a designer, they are usually referring to their ability to communicate through a visual medium. We are relied on for our visual skills, it is at the very core of what we do, but our ability to verbalize our processes is equally important.

There are a couple of phrases I say around the office a lot: If you don't talk about design, no one is going to understand its value; and, the quickest way to kill design in an organization is to not talk about design.

My point in reciting these mantras is two-fold (one is strategic and one is tactical).

Posted
AuthorJoshua David
CategoriesDesign Strategy