17/11/2011

Opening the design process


How did designers ever learn anything before the web? Each day I feel grateful that the web encourages designers all round the world to share the path they've taken through a particular project.

I've always been a big fan of opening up the design process. Demystifying it if you will. In my opinion the design profession has been guilty of creating an ivory tower for itself. Relying on the notion that our expertise and skill is beyond the understanding of mere mortal clients. I'm not saying we should dumb it down and allow any old punter to make key design decisions. By opening it up I'm not refering to handing over responsibility. As I see it designers are problem solvers and therefore employed to make decisions on the best solution to a problem (brief). I'm just saying that it's possible to show the inner workings of a design project as a means to getting greater support from stakeholders. To my previous point it also helps this wonderful, messy, expansive design community we inhabit to learn and get better.

So to that end, in the spirit of sharing, here are my favourite (recent) examples of designers sharing their work and processes.

The Windows mobile design team creating "Metro"

Marco Arment on Designing Instapaper 4.0

Berg on designing the Michel Thomas iPhone app

Martin Belam on designing The Guardian's iPad app

The BBC's Global Visual Language