Design and thinking. Sometimes together.


Branding is thinking made real. Here are some thoughts on design, branding and other miscellany.

That Thing Where Someone Says Something Was Their Idea When It Was Yours


So, this is something I do to my wife that drives her out of her mind. Here's the general outline of how this goes:

  1. She comes up with some idea for us to do
  2. I second guess it for only occasionally defensible reasons
  3. She gets pissed
  4. I think about it for a bit
  5. I tell her some barely different version of what she already suggested as if I'm a genius
  6. She's pleased that we're doing what she wanted to do but is still pissed

Now then, this is super frustrating if you're a spouse, or if this is what your boss does to you. But as a designer you need to turn this concept into a positive. Often the solutions we believe are going to be the most successful are those that require people to do or say something that's out of their comfort zone. However, if you can convince the client that your solution was in some way their idea you are home free. When they believe it's their idea you'll be amazed just how far out of their comfort zone they'll be willing to go. And when it's "their idea" they will go to bat for it with their co-workers and their customers and in the end they'll believe in what they're trying to say and do. This in and of itself will make for a more successful solution.

How does one go about this Jedi mind trick you may ask? First don't think of it as a trick, if you're asking the right questions and really listening for how your client is defining the problem your solutions will already be born out of things that they've said. When you can present things in such a manner that they logically spill from the way the client has described things you're half way there. The thing that pushes you over the top is when you give them credit for planting the seed that became the idea.

Now if only I can see when my wife is planting the seed and just get out of the way so she can make it grow.

Jason LaughlinComment