Our Top 5 Quotes from InVision’s “DESIGN DISRUPTORS” Documentary

We’re big fans (and users) of InVision at Kadenze, so when we got the “Hurry, seats are going fast for the LA premiere of DESIGN DISRUPTORS” email the day of the screening, we wrote two Slack messages:

  1. Should we go? We should probs go.
  2. Wait, there’s also a CLAIR from InVision? (Note: every newsletter is usually sent by “Clark from InVision”)

Two designers and a developer walk into a movie theater. Here are our top quotes from the film and how they made us feel.

At its best, design is human.

  • Design is a service and solutions-based industry. Our job is to help solve someone else’s problem, and that someone is probably trying to solve a larger problem for someone else or a group of people. So what we design, be it one poster or an entire platform, is to be experienced by someone other than ourselves. If we’re not constantly thinking of them, we’re not quite doing it right. #empathy

Subtractions are the most valuable additions.

  • Paul Rand said it best: “Good design is simple. That’s why it’s so complicated.” Does that button really need three other words when one says it all?

Art is about making questions. Design is about making solutions.

  • Or as it’s sometimes phrased: “Design isn’t art.” But hold up, “can’t design also be beautiful?” YES, but first it needs to solve the problem. Good design solves the problem. Great design solves it and looks pretty damn good while doing it.

Diversity is vital.

  • Wholeheartedly yes. Be it in design or any industry. It’s imperative that we see ourselves included at the forefront of design conversations, sitting on conference panels, and being interviewed in documentaries. Last year, InVision got a little heat for the lack of diversity in early trailer screenings. A year later, they addressed some of those concerns with a new cut featuring more female design leads and designers of color. Clair mentioned during the Q&A that they’re still iterating on the film and that feedback was much welcomed. That’s awesome. As a whole, the design industry needs to do better. And if the diversity conversation grew louder because of a documentary that was initially about something else, that’s alright. The key is to keep talking.

If you don’t think you have a seat at the table, you’re not listening.

  • The role of designers is undeniably changing. Traditionally, designers have had layers of management between themselves and stakeholders. Now, designers are starting to add their voices to company strategy meetings because at the end of the day, those decisions always end up trickling down to the designer to execute. And the biggest question that designers ask of those executive decisions is WHY? And honestly, for the sake of your company and for the world, ‘Because it has to’ can’t be the answer anymore. So if designers can get in the room to ask WHY? early on, we have a better chance at handling the road ahead because we’re now actively involved in paving it.

The last question of the Q&A came from a designer and went something along the lines of “Is creating a documentary about ourselves kind of self-glorifying?” And as side-eye as that question was to many people in the room, it attests to our constant struggle with perfection, extremely high standards for ourselves and our work, mixed with a dash of self-deprecation. One of our favorite voices in the film, Jason Mayden, a Design Lead at Accel Partners and a former Global Design Director at Nike, answered brilliantly with a quote from his grandmother, “If you don’t love yourself, who else is going to love you?”

We would’ve also loved to get some insight from smaller companies (and InVision HQ themselves) instead of just Silicon Valley tech giants. But another time, another documentary.

Thanks InVision, for creating something that reminds us and others to appreciate designers and the work that we do.


Jessica De Jesus is the Associate Creative Director and Brand Strategy Manager at Kadenze.
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