Have you got a sec?
I must ask that question so many times during the average working day.
A few years ago I was discussing the role of a web designer with the director of another agency. The conversation circled around the idea that a designer shouldn’t do everything. He proposed that a web designer should be able to write code. But in order for the designer to be truly creative, they needed be free of the constraints scripting and programming. Leave the developers to write the complex code. They know what they’re doing, they don’t want designers getting involved.
At the time I agreed, but over time it’s become clear that we were both wrong.
More questions, more collaboration, more learning
In my early years at Vivid, sites weren’t looking and functioning how I had intended when they went live. We tended to work in silos in those early days and collaboration wasn’t something the team did well. That culture had to change, I needed more control. So before we began to design sites I began to ask questions:
- What plugin are we using for this module?
- Are there any others that give us more creative control?
- If something looks different to the designs can you flag it as soon as possible?
- I want this to happen when a user clicks that, is this possible?
- Could I write it?
- I’ve tried to do this, but it’s not quite working as expected, could you take a look?
And so on.
Not only did asking questions force the team to collaborate, designers influenced the final output a lot more. As a result, both designers and developers learned a hell of a lot and we’ve created some amazing work along the way.
To be truly creative, you need to ask questions.