Reflection: On the value of making a thing and iteration

This week, all three projects we’re working on got to a point where the ideas could be put into the world in some way and understood by people who didn’t create them. Here’s a rundown of the projects and how they’re currently manifesting…

Rapid Ideation & Creative Problem Solving: I created a prototype that others can click through. The navigational model is intact and all the primary paths in place.
Service Design: We presented prototypes of concepts to our client. She could finally see, after weeks of us telling her they’re going to be great, that they were great (or could be).
Research & Synthesis: We finally have the beginning of a coherent thread through the data, just the glimpse of a larger story and a way forward. This project is the least far along, but it still feels like a milestone.

What I’ve learned is that it feels great to have your ideas be validated by others, to put something out there and have it make sense and be perceived as valuable. On top of that is a more important insight which is something I already knew but am now recognizing more deeply and more meaningfully because I now have more experience with it. That’s the importance of getting “there” rapidly because it gives you time to iterate. Up to this point, one of the big struggles has been just getting to the point where we can make a thing that can solicit reaction, let alone making a thing and then making it again to see how the reaction changes. I understand the value of iteration from that perspective better now. Whether your concept in it’s current state is terrible or great, you’ve got to manifest it in a way that’s understandable and believable, even tangible, so people can react. That’s how you find a direction out of the million directions available.