Category Archives: Design

Painting an Insights Picture

Going out your door

“It’s a dangerous business, Frodo, going out your door. You step onto the road, and if you don’t keep your feet, there’s no knowing where you might be swept off to.” – Bilbo Baggins

Creativity needs inspiration.  Inspiration is usually found by going out, not by staying in.  By going out and exploring the world, you often find your ideas in unlikely places.  An idea needs structure, design, and simplicity.  These elements can be found everywhere.

Get out of your house. Get out of your office.  Get out of your comfort zone.  Your next idea is right outside.

Is it Good Enough?

“How do you know when it’s done?  It’s never done.  That’s not the right question.  The question is:  when is it good enough?” –  Seth Godin

Your idea doesn’t do the world any good sitting in your mind.  Your idea doesn’t do your company any good sitting in your inbox.  Your idea doesn’t do your client any good sitting on your desktop.  If you are waiting till it is perfect to release it to the world, you are wasting valuable time (and a valuable opportunity).

The questions you need to answer:   Is it valuable to the world?   Is it simple enough for my audience to understand?  Is it visually appealing?  When those questions have been answered and put into action, your idea is good enough.
When it is good enough, go to market.  Nothing is final, you can always improve.  You can never get back the time you wasted trying to be perfect.

“Take elegant, simple presentation design seriously”

Great article from Lisa Nirell from Fast Company titled, “Are Your Presentations Powerful Or Pathetic? 4 Persuasive Presentation Preparation Tips” aiming to cure what she calls PPD: Pathetic Presentation Disorder.  Here are her 4 tips:

  • Follow the 10/20/30 rule: Ten slides maximum, 20 minutes of content, and 30 point font
  • Tell a story
  • Lead the audience to action
  • Practice and enjoy talking to yourself

Making Decisions Easier

“When your values are clear to you, making decisions becomes easier.”
– Roy E. Disney

Mistakes happen.  We all err in judgment or make wrong decisions at one point or another.  When you find that you’ve made a mistake; own it, be upfront and honest about it, but ultimately, you need to forget it and drive on.  You can’t question decisions made in real time.

The best we can do is to prepare for the crossroads we will inevitably find ourselves facing.  Have a clear set of values and a clear goal.  Stick to those values and the difficult decisions will be made easier.  They may not always be the right ones but standing for what you believe in (honesty, simplicity, creativity, focusing on design, producing high-quality products, offering low-cost alternatives, being user-friendly, or believing in customer-service) is more important than being right all the time.

Make Life Easy

Any time you interact directly with a customer or a client, you are marketing yourself. Emails, presentations, cold calls, meetings, lunches, leave-behinds, brochures, elevator pitches, blogs, websites, white papers, networks, or trade shows give you the opportunity to be special. Crafting a simple, thoughtful message or designing a clean, easy-to-digest presentation tells your client that you are professional and care about making life easier for them. And people are more likely to buy from you when you make their lives easier.

The best presentations…

…use creativity, design, simplicity, and audience focus to get the message across. The result is a clean, compelling pitch and a confident speaker.