Retailers face an increasingly difficult challenge of continuing to provide innovative products and services while creating personalized experiences. Every transaction is an opportunity for retailers to deliver a meaningful experience; a small effort that allows brands to connect with the consumer. It’s what modern consumers have come to expect; brick-and-mortar establishments can no longer afford to treat their physical locations as simple transaction points.

Consequently, retailers are rushing to meet continually shifting demands by creating seamless experiences between online and in-person. …

As a father working in the creative and technology space designing for modern applications, it’s simply amazing to watch my 3-year-old daughter seamlessly interact with the latest products. With a few swipes of her finger and a tap or two, she is masterfully navigating my iPhone in every respect that it was intended.

Google, Siri, and Alexa are all close friends that she clearly distinguishes between and speaks to using their respective commands. She understands that these devices are not people, and somehow makes the distinction between human and AI, but not in the sense that you or I do.

Form follows function is leading us down an ugly path

Image courtesy of Unsplash

Form follows function is a principle originating from 20th-century modernist architecture proclaiming that value is derived from an object’s intended function or purpose–a belief that continues to influence our approach to modern product design.

Unfortunately, we’ve become dogmatic in our approach–forgoing beauty in favor of something that is purely utilitarian. While function has become the driving force, beauty is increasingly considered inefficient, shallow, even excessive.

This is a mistake.

Our species has evolved and elevated itself through our ability to infuse beauty into our creations. …

How to stack the odds in your favor when working with clients

After years in the creative industry, I can still trace my success or failure on any given project to the same three things. I’ve freelanced, worked for large agencies, founded my own UI/UX firm, and worked for numerous startups. Each one has posed its own unique set of challenges, but I’ve also discovered that despite your size or how successful you are, there are three simple tenets to stack the odds for success in your favor: eliminate ambiguity, content comes first, and let the talent drive.

Eliminate Ambiguity

You are not different, and why that’s a good thing

Over the years I’ve found that all creatives suffer from the same thing.

So you’ve fooled everyone into thinking you know exactly what you’re doing. Your success has allowed you to take on bigger, better, and more lucrative work. There is an incessant self-inflicted need to out perform yourself; a battle wages between ego and self preservation. While at the same time, each new opportunity poses the threat of becoming the project that exposes you for the fraud that you are.

As the saying goes, you are your own worst enemy. …

When is it OK to fight back over your work?

This whole article can be boiled down to one sentence:

Get attached and arm yourself with the evidence to defend that attachment

As a creative, you must be attached to your work. Your goal is not only to inspire, but to push the limits, educate your audience, and elevate the conversation. If you can’t bond with what you’ve created, how can you explain or defend it?

In the absence of attachment, people will chip away at what you’ve built; changes will become arbitrary, and you will lose sight of what you set out to create. …

Why leaving the artistic rat race behind was the best thing for my career

There is a quote by Eleanor Roosevelt that goes like this: “Great minds discuss ideas; average minds discuss events; small minds discuss people.” I think the key to becoming a better creative would be to amend the quote as follows: “Great creatives are inspired by ideas; average creatives are inspired by tools; small creatives are inspired by people.”

The true nature of ‘being a creative’ is found in immersing yourself in humanity — in culture, politics, science, sociology; the things that impact us as people, as individuals. The things that really move us.

From my experience, creatives are too close…

Kill perfectionism. Done is better than perfect.

I am a recovering perfectionist, and when I say recovering, I mean that I frequently fall off the wagon. It’s no secret that perfection is almost always the fastest way to kill creativity; putting the details aside and focusing on the greater challenge at hand is no easy feat.

So how do we strike a balance between the details that are so often the hallmark of great work and charging headlong toward the goal?

The Broken Window Theory

According to the Broken Window Theory, if a window is broken, and left un-repaired, people will conclude that the community and its inhabitants have little regard…

Why slowing down will increase the quality of your creative output

Originally published on the IdeaBooth Blog

About a year ago I attended a conference and sat back listening to a handful of speakers with very impressive resumes from very impressive companies talk about their side projects. I saw amazing work, met some interesting people, and learned a lot. But the one thing that I could not get away from was asking myself how these very talented and busy people made time to invest in side projects.

I’m an Art Director at Idea Booth and Founder of a boutique user-experience design agency in Chicago. …

Jonathan Speh

Product designer; love working at the limits of form & function. Strategy & art @idea-booth, @productiveedge, Obama, Planned Parenthood. Founder @PixlTeam UX/UI

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