My continued approach to describing technology-driven concepts to non-tech folks is to apply a real-world analog. Feng Shui happens to be an outstanding approach – both conceptually and practically – when considering how to execute a digital initiative. The reason why (IMHO) is because feng shui emphasizes balance and harmony, which are key ingredients in having a conversation with someone you don’t want to be a stranger for very long.
Feng shui also happens to be a great approach when it comes to doing user experience design, because it provides a directional template that – for whatever reason – seems to work with people’s spatial orientation.
It was apparently with all this in mind that Anne Cassidy reached out to me about an article she was writing for The Guardian Online. She sent a series of questions over email, and I replied to them. They ranged from the very practical to matters that were in the “brand theory” department.
And that is precisely the point I attempt to make with every client during every engagement: companies are accustomed to one-way communications (talking to people) and the distance between designing a product and delivering it being almost insurmountable. The digital world turns communications into multi-point interactions that can extend into something like a Greek tragedy where the main characters are engaged together but there is a chorus off to the side that may provide greater value than the protagonists. And your product online can be ever-evolving to meet user needs: it’s called “beta.”
All of this ladders up to the reason balance in the digital realm is so important: you don’t have to control something that is balanced. When something is imbalanced it needs to be controlled or it will fail somehow, either physically or interpersonally.
Special thanks to Anne Cassidy for finding room for me in her article.