We’re visiting the family this week for Thanksgiving. Since the grandparents love to spend time with the kids, we thought we would take the chance to go see a movie. We went to see Stranger than Fiction. The movie was great with one exception. In about every fourth camera angle, the boom mic was visible at the top of the screen. It would bob around like a cork floating on water. At first I thought it was a problem with the print of the film. After it would happen repeatedly, only on medium-wide shots consisting of the actors talking to one-another, I was convinced it was the boom mic. I can only imagine the filmmaker’s disappointment when the the film was developed and most scenes of the movie had this problem. The movie was great, but I was distracted through much of it.
I have spent quite a bit of time lately thinking about how development style, process, and company culture help to foster great design or hinder it. Small companies have a great ability to be very creative and move quickly on concepts since all of the stakeholders are in the same room all the time. Anyone that has worked in a larger company, or even a small company that has simply grown to the point where there are separate departments, finds that process must be put into place to keep things running smoothly.
The resulting process comes out of the culture of the company. This process can be very restrictive, or very loose. The process itself has direct bearing on the overall creativity and understanding of design.
I have many ideas on this topic and will be posting a few more articles on it. However I am wondering aloud (and encouraging comments), how has the process and company culture enabled or hindered the ability for you and your teams to implement great design?
Today Rashmi Sinha asked me if I wanted to give my Great UI talk at BayCHI on December 12th. Of course I accepted, it’s BayCHI afterall. I have attended several talks at Xerox Parc, but it will be great to actually talk there.