A quick & easy design tip: keep a notebook

source: gearpatrol.com

source: gearpatrol.com

Advice from Daniel Pink.  (If you’ve not yet been convinced of how much you’ll learn from reading his books after reading post after post on my blog that have been inspired by them, I would be shocked.  Moral of the story: go buy them and start reading, seriously.)  I bought a pack of black, lined Moleskine notebooks at Target and dedicated one as my “Design Notebook”.  The things I write about in this notebook include the following:

-If I see great designs, I make a note of them.  I like to include things like price (if applicable), who or what company produced and/or designed them, a description of the thing’s attributes (specific reasons why I like it) like color, size, function(s), etc.

-I do the same thing for bad or flawed designs.  Sometimes I will include an additional sketch or description of how I think the bad design could be improved.

-I also make sure to include the design of experiences.  For example, what about this event made it so memorable?  What aspect(s) of my favorite undergraduate experience was my University responsible for fostering/what did they specifically do to shape that positive experience?  Why do I shop at Target instead of Shopko?  Stuff like that.

If you can commit to taking up this advice, then “before long, you’ll be looking at graphics, enteriors, environments, and much more with greater acuity.  And you’ll understand in a deepr way how design decisions shape our everyday lives,” according to Pink.  You will also learn a lot about yourself and your own preferences, according to me.

If you like this idea and decide to invest in your own design notebook, please please PLEASE share your ideas with me in one way or another.  And FYI I’ll probably be posting some excerpts from mine sometime in the near future 🙂