Empathetic Approach to Design

It's true...I am a bit of an introvert. I'm a deep and meaningful person. I'm also very empathetic which means that I look at the world and try to see, understand, and feel that world from other from the view of others. And...Like most people, many of these characteristics carry over into my work. Which I don't think is a bad thing.

When I sit down to try and solve a design problem, (after I've already interviewed the client and done some research), I try to approach the problem from the eyes of the "target audience". I try to get inside that ideal customer's head and think, "What appeals to me?" "What is something that will make me remember this brand?" "How can this brand strike a meaningful chord with me?" I then go over the notes I created while speaking with the client to see if any of the ideas we discussed will answer these questions. "Is an image of a fish really going to sell skateboards?" "What kind of people buy skateboards and do most of them find fish appealing?" "Can we make the fish more skateboard-like so people can relate? And this process goes on and on.

I learned accessibility while working for the Department of Defense and I take it into account while designing too. "Can someone who doesn't speak English know what this design means or is selling? Or, can this same person be intrigued enough by it to want to know more?" "Can a person who is color blind, even see this design as it was meant to be seen?" "Does this design alienate anyone?" "Is it sexist, racist or discriminatory in any way?" "Is the design too busy, or is the meaning lost?" Finally, "Does the design require the viewer to have to think about it too much?"

I'm an advocate of aesthetics and simplicity in design. I know when to make colors contrast and uncomfortable and when to make them subtle and cozy. I know that a logo is the virtual face of your company and the importance of cohesive branding so that the face is echoed in everything your company does. I know that a design needs "to be" or "not be", and that it can't be somewhere in between. A good example of this is, the Burger King logo. The logo is a burger with a crown...a "burger king". Even if you don't speak English, you more than likely know what it means. On the other had, the Apple logo is an apple and has nothing to do with computers, but we've all been conditioned to associate it with computers, (if not elite, expensive, computers).