Web guru Kelly Goto is putting together a process to help web designers get “unstuck,” both creatively and in their workflow. But since she couldn’t be here at SXSW to present it, Liz Danzico pinch hit for her at a star-studded panel including Kristian Bengtsson of FutureLab, Chris Messina of Citizen Agency, Luke Wroblewski (“Luke W”) of Yahoo!, and Jeffrey Zeldman, founder of Happy Cog.
The panel was interesting both in content and in format. The tips from the experts seemed to translate well into other mediums (seriously, an investment banker could still stand to learn a few things from Zeldman). After each panelist got a few minutes to chat about their unstuck ideas, audience-contributed questions each received one minute answers in the “lightning round.” Tons of issues got addressed this way. We jotted a few choice highlights.
Wroblewski: Get your writing published. Try to direct the conversation by contributing to the dialogue.
Zeldman: Show your boss trends in the media or published articles that are in line with your ideas.
Messina: Make your process public. Use open source applications like Flickr, Wikis, your website to document and share your work.
Messina: Throw everything you do out to the community for critique.
Wroblewski: Get the ideas out there and be part of the movement
Zeldman: Know the client, but more importantly, know what you can offer them.
Zeldman: Give complex things new names. Simplify the language.
Bengtsson: Take risks, fail flamboyantly.
Zeldman: Break ideas down into soundbites–make them into digestible ideas.
Bengtsson: When you can’t make a creative decision, “ask” the persona or the user what they think.
Zeldman: (In response to a long-winded question during the lightning round where someone asked how to get their increasingly unimaginative team to come up with more creative solutions): Quit.