I thought this video from Media Sauce presented some good ideas that we can use to make us better designers.

First, I liked the graph that discussed your projected path and where you could be.

Projected path vs. where you could be

Projected path vs. where you could be

This graph immediately reminded me of my own career goals. I could work at my current pace in school and achieve the projected goal of getting a job. But what would my dream job be? How hard would it be to attain it? Is there something in between my projected path and my absolute dream job?

Additionally, Media Sauce asserted the importance of defining specific goals in order to achieve them. This is very appropriate to web design because you can’t just say, “I want to build a great website,” you have to define something more specific.

Second, I liked the portion of the video that discussed how business is not about you.

This is a really important idea when it comes to building a small business and when designing a website. You probably shouldn’t sell products simply because you like them. There has to be a need and desire in the market for the product you’re selling. Also, you shouldn’t design something simply because you like it. There should be a basis for what you design; such as research into the target market and how the design corresponds to the brand strategy.

I have to admit, I’m guilty of designing what I like, and to a certain extent I think you have to do this. But sometimes, I am so locked into I concept I like, that I cannot conceive of doing it another way. Ultimately, I will have to keep in mind that it’s not really about me, but instead the people viewing the design, the customer. I have to keep in mind what’s best for them. As the video said, be grassroots, and think at that individual consumer’s level.

Third, I liked the idea of integrating the internet into everything you do in business.

I thought this idea was really interesting, because it seems at most companies now there is a “web department”. It might be hard to get away from that, but this does seem like the way to stay ahead of the competition right now. In thinking about how this would work with what we’re doing, it would be building a website that can be easily edited by someone who doesn’t know web design. In my case, I want to build my site with either a WordPress or Drupel backend to make it easy for people to edit it. Also, this way the site can be interactive, with visitors able to add comments and exchange advice about small businesses.

All in all, I think the Obama campaign was innovative in how it embraced multiple channels to reach out to people, and it is certainly something I can learn from and grow as a designer as a result.