I was overwhelmed by the response to my survey! 56 respondents right off the bat–and still counting! I’ve been using the data to help me start delving into some themes for the project and already I am blown away by the flood of ideas I am having. After 15 years of working as a professional designer, I have become convinced that gleaning data from people is an essential part of my workflow, no matter where on the fine art / commercial design continuum I am working from.
Data is just gold, man. As simple as my survey was, it means I am at least attempting to create from a place of circumspection, not navel gazing. There is a practice in interaction design called Persona Creation: you basically use research to help you come up with a realistic ideal user, a fictional character who becomes a testing tool for your team. I have never been lucky enough to see it done well. Too often, I watched as teams basically created a virtual yes-man, always happy with their choices. This is not a condemnation of the practice: once again, I am sure it is great when actually done well.
I just really like to hear directly from people. I’m at a phase in my life when my time is so limited, I cannot risk going down too many garden paths before finding some nuggets of truth. I need traction now, and as my work draws on product design, I am really digging the overlay of the Design Cycle on my creative process.
So I am processing the answers, sketching, and I may print some tests for an initial sculptural idea tomorrow! Very exciting, very scary as well but I don’t feel so alone since I have some tacit collaborators already. Thank you all for contributing! More to come