Monday, November 24, 2008

Interview Notes

I interviewed my mom’s cousin Victor Robertson who is a designer/ inventor.

I asked him 5 of the following questions that focused on design communication and his different approaches and methods.

1. When you are given a project to work on how do you tackle the problem so that you are able to come up with a successful concept in the end?

One of the things that I have learned in this profession (and something you will soon learn when you get a career) is that companies are passionate about their work but at the end of the day their main goal is to make money as well as make an impact on the industry somehow. As a result, I approach the problem in a way that expresses my creative input but will also be beneficial to them in terms of profit. Sometimes this is done by toning down my outrageous ideas and design products that are more practical.

2. When it comes time to presenting your concept to the company or client, how do you go about doing this?

First I do a little research (depending on time and the project will determine how in depth I will go with research) to kind of see what kind of similar products are out there and how to make them better. Then I do some quick thumbnails just to get my ideas on paper, then do more developed sketches with specific functions, forms, etc. Then I try to figure out a clever way of showing how this product will interact with the person.

3. I am constantly in the process of updating my portfolio, do you have any suggestions for me on how I can show my work effectively to get the job that I want?

Well, one thing that I always tell people is to show your products in a way that they completely speak for themselves. As you may already know, designers have a very short attention span so I feel like any way to get your point across with little explanation necessary is a great approach. Another thing you can focus on is the overall layout of your portfolio: effective fonts, simplicity is a big one, and showing different portfolios to different clients according to their specialty (they don’t have to be completely different portfolios but maybe have some that have certain projects in comparison to others).

4. You’ve seen the design industry grow over many years, how has the industry progressed when it comes to the way ideas are made and presented.

Well I have noticed that companies are hiring more and more young people which is great because it brings in a fresh new perspective each time someone new is hired. As a result, our ideas are more dynamic and we will have a wide range of ideas.

5. Is it frustrating when no one seems to grasp your ideas?

Yes it can be, especially when you feel like you have something substantial. However, it is my job to be able to understand why someone doesn’t understand an idea. Also, a lot of times people don’t understand something simply because they can’t relate to it. Therefore, I try my best to present concepts in different contexts so that we’re all on the same page.

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