Research or Besmirched

Why research is the key to getting work done effectively and pleasantly

October 15, 2020

Identity design and website design are partnerships. It is someone coming to a designer asking them to solve a problem, create something awesome, and do so with as little bumps as possible.

Now here's the problem with that statement: you have no idea what problem to solve, what constitutes "awesome," and what could be a bump.

All of those are subjective elements. If the designer and client are not aligned on what these all mean, then the project is not gonna end well. Both sides will feel unhappy.

How do you mitigate against that?

Research. You develop styles capes.. together. You sitemap and plan out features... together. You define the goals and success of the project... together. Client and designer, you work together to sift through the nuance.

More you say?

Mint and Chip

If someone hates you, someone is sure to love you

12.3.2019

Everyone loves ice cream, but getting people to agree on a flavor is difficult. You gauge a room of people to see what they want and no one will seem to agree. Especially if someone suggests mint and chip.

My guess is that most people are indifferent, but there are those who vehemently oppose the flavor with everything they've got. Hell, someone even wrote an article on how terrible is it.

Here's the thing though:

One of my closest friends absolutely LOVES mint and chip ice cream. It's her favorite, she will go out of her way to get it and she'd happily argue with the author of that article about why it's a good choice.

Branding a startup works the same way. Some people will love it, some will not. You have to be ok without pleasing everyone.

read more

Early Adopters > Average Customer

Shifting your brand to focus on those who really need you.

6.11.2020

Brands are best served when made for specific people. For years, I've been encouraging founders to focus on building a brand for one person.

In reading the Lean Startup, there was a moment of clarity: the person you build a brand for is the early adopter. Prior to reading this, I'd be referring to this persona as the ideal customer, but that isn't as objective as early adopter. Here's why:

Early adopters seek out uniqueness and difference, they are very particular with good taste, they have strong tribal associations, and they are willing to go out on a limb to try something new. Furthermore, they are the first dominoes to buy into a product that will eventually spill over into the early majority and late majority. You cannot impress the majorities if you have not impressed early adopters.

Build a product for your ideal early adopter. Not the average or ideal customer.

read more