On those precious ideas

Good advice from a post named “What I Bring to UX From Architecture” on by Jennifer Fraser on Johnny Holland:

Ideas aren’t precious.

At Carleton, at various points during our projects we would hang-up our work for public display and present our ideas for critique from our peers, professors and visiting critics. Early sketches and quick massing models were presented and discussed, as were our final, laboriously rendered, drawings and meticulously crafted models. From all the presentation and discussion of my own projects, and those of everyone around me, I came to realize that ideas aren’t precious. Ideas are there to be discussed, debated and critiqued; but in order for that to happen, the ideas must be made concrete. It is through this transformation from idea to object where people display their design skills, by showing their ability to articulate their ideas through the material of their craft, be it a sketch or a model or a mock-up or code. It’s that concrete manifestation of the idea that can then be communicated to others and iterated upon, in order for it to improve and not be something that is coveted as a precious design artifact.

This is something I need to realize earlier and more often. I have a tendency at times to come up with something and just go with it, rather than trying to spread my ideas a bit more and hear others out.

Everyone can come up with ideas—it’s the execution that matters, so getting critique early on is essential in choosing what to go with and how to do it.


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