Stop asking me about my creative process

“So tell me about your process”

As a creative designer one of the things that really grinds my (48x16 fixed) gears is when I get asked at interviews what my ‘process’ is, or to show examples of my design process.

I dont have a process, and nor should you, and this is why:

Process is for people with no imagination

Creative people don’t need a process, that is why they are creative. They create stuff with their creativity which is fuelled by them being creative (and coffee) I make stuff up and then post-rationalise the theory/mechanics/how the heck are we going to pay for this?.

I dont Xibit any kind of syptoms of a process

I dont see things as ‘my’ I see them as ‘our’

I don’t roll solo, I work with a team. We get together and we make decisions as a team, we make tea as a team, we save lives as a team (well not really but you get my point). Unless you really need to drive the bus you all work together and no one team members process defines the process. Not that there is one.

Every project is different, every client is different.

Being a creative on native mobile apps is a custom job, each native app is a proprietary project all said and done, is not a framework and some window dressing like a responsive parallax scrolling website. RWD is just a label for flexible grids (hello 1996!) and some CSS media queries. Every big agency spits out the same scrolly parallax responsive big image website, which has no process. Then they post rationalise the process. Who cares about the process if the output is the same?

I cant remember how I did it last time.

Honestly my brain goes at a thousand miles an hour after 2 flat whites. Most of the stuff I do is successful and I try to make a little wash up document but really is all just made up, when you have 12 different stakeholders and a torrent of variables, 6 APIs made out of the code equivalent of kindling, you have to make it all work and that is not a process.

UX is not a process

A user centred design process is a framework of processes. But every single UX professional I have ever worked with works differently. And none have ever defined their process the same.

Life moves pretty fast, if you dont stop around and document it, you can enjoy it more

Visual design is all about layout, typography, colour theory, brand, understanding the brief and a bunch of other things I learned at art college and by designing things for people. But every day someone posts a link on Twitter to a new technique, app or piece of knowledge that makes my process outdated. Not that I have one. If I defined a process it would be old hat within a month or two. “Oh you use Slack? Well I now use SausageRoll©. Is the new Slack.” * uninstalls Slack *

Sketching out ideas on the wall is for clients

I rarely sketch. Sketching makes everything look doable, which it is most certainly not once worked up properly. I would rather knock up low fidelity mock-ups straight in Sketch go figure…

Design is problem solving.

We take a bunch of requirements (problems), get together to solve and prove the solutions with rationale-based design, delivered through rapid prototypes, this is not a process. Nor is Mobile First, it is simply common sense design for a different set of behaviours and needs. And common sense is not a process.

In summary…

Ok I guess I have some sort of a process. But that is how I see design for humans.

Ok I have a process. I just need time to process this.

Design Director. Dad. Cyclist. Flâneur. Piano student. Fondue enthusiast. Not necessarily in that order

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