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Getting Better: The Designer's Path From Good To Great

2010 SXSWi Core Conversation with Ian Coyle and Duane King

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Great conversation!

  • Mar 17, 2010

I attended this session hoping to get a few tips about how to be a better designer within the context of my current job (which is not a full-time freelance designer, BTW).  I am the designer by default on a software development team working on a project for a state agency.  Unfortunately, this session didn't really help me all that much in my short-term quest for help.  With that said, I think the session was fantastic for those whose careers are full-time in design.

Some key points:

  • You have to be willing to fail in order to succeed
  • Constraints can help you be a better designer (this relates to Ian's letterpress examples)
  • It is important to work with people who are like-minded and equally passionate, but who have different skill sets
  • In a collaborative situation, the force of peer pressure is at don't want to let the other person/people down, for example
  • A conversation over coffee can oftentimes be more beneficial than looking for inspiration on the web (getting to know a person and what they need)
  • Routine is the enemy of creativity
  • One of the ways to get better is to do a lot of work, even if it's bad
  • In a group situation, it is important to have a singular point of view; someone who will ultimately make the decisions; there has to be ownership....someone who will own a concept/approach/whatever whether it succeeds or fails
  • When doing a proposal, try to write it so the client wants to work with you
  • As soon as you think you're great, you've lost it
  • Fave quote:  SXSW is my favorite conference (from Ian)

Both guys clearly know what they're talking about and it's great to listen to people who know their stuff.  Duane said he wasn't comfortable speaking to a group of people, so kudos for getting up there and doing it.  Ian had lots of fun stories to supplement the conversation and I enjoyed that.  Great job guys.

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About the reviewer
Jodi Henderson ()
Ranked #3
I geek out over LOTR, Harry Potter, film music, the Internet and office supplies. (Yes, office supplies.) I also love my iPhone, MacBook, reading and learning.
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Event Description:
The gap between good and great: there are tried and true ways to improve; but the best road isn't someone else's. Forge your own Desire Path: how personal projects will take you where you want to go. Join Thinking For a Living Network's inside discussion on doing what you love.

Courtyard Rio Grande B
Tuesday, March 16 at 12:30 PM
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Date(s): Tuesday March 16

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"Great conversation!"
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