Comfort Zone

Ok, a strange thing just happened. I tried to write an article on my official blog and I also had a fair idea of what I wanted to write about. But there is something about typing directly into the blog. It made a little uncomfortable. I was trying to be precise and perfect but, instead of focusing on “what I wanted to say” I started to think about “how to say it”. Not sure if you got the difference but there is some difference there.

“What I wanted to say”, was not structured, didn’t probably have a point when I started to write. But “How to say” forced me to be, a little more conscious (for the lack of a better word). Hence I completely lost the essence of what I was about to write.

I went back to the word doc, started writing and you won’t believe it how easy it was to just jot down all my thoughts. On further analysis of why I was unable to do the same in “Wordpress” (this is where my blog is hosted), I realized the interface did not give a very fluid feeling. I felt it’s a place where I can finally just copy & paste my article but not build it there. 

It feels like a software :), I shall elaborate. 

Everything is a software!

Haha! Yes even MS Word is a software. Since we have used Word (MS Word) for the longest time now to create notes, documents, etc. etc. it feels like a part of your everyday lifestyle. Everything else seems like an inspiration, or offshoot of this. I do feel extremely comfortable writing is Google Docs too. But since whatever you are typing is only available locally, somehow I feel that my notes are not going to go public. My unformatted thoughts stay here. 

You must be thinking, “Aren’t you a techie”. Yes I am and I am also human. And humans have apprehensions, some you can see and some you cannot. Some rational and some not. There is no fighting them. But one needs to understand and address them.

Method

It also made me realize how this is connected to way we (Designers at Beon Systems) have been designing. It is part of our design process to brainstorm without judgment. We record all random thoughts on paper before we move on to any digital platform. The idea is to allow the mind to flow. No need for a structure. Just make a not of every little thought.

Now start organizing, eliminating, elaborating etc. keeping the objective in mind.

That’s what design is about

Dealing with what is visible and evident is the easiest thing to do. But that is where designers can contribute, they have the ability to go beyond tangibility and tap into the essence. Understand human nature and behavior and create solutions which are human centric. That is what we need to teach students of design. 

Just making something useful is not enough. Building a good product requires a lot of observation and attention to subtle behaviors. In my opinion observing your customer/user is very important. See when they twitch or smile while using your product or for that matter your service. That’s when you lose or have them.

Understand their comfort zone and build something which compliments it.

Every stream of business should think about people first. Understand what lies within someone’s comfort zone and what can be brought easily in this zone. 

I am going to write more about this with examples soon.