I was asked recently by a fellow creative what my UX and Design philosophy is. I was taken back by the fact that I didn’t have a solid answer for him. I’ve been bouncing this around in my head for the past few days or weeks or however long it’s been, and I think I can finally put it into words. Before working at Dicks Sporting Goods, my philosophy for digital creative was actually more of a differentiator between what I thought digital vs traditional creative was. “Traditional creative is simply consumed. Digital creative is actually being used. It is a product, not just a pretty picture. It has to WORK.”
“The user is ALWAYS right. I am NEVER the user.”
To me this says it all. No matter what you think you know about design, or usability, or creativity, if the end user doesn’t get it, you fail.
This is at the core of what being creative is all about. If you can open your mind up to the fact that you’re not always right, in fact you’re probably usually wrong about what your end user thinks, then you’ve reached a point in your career that you can truly be a creative. This is what separates digital/ux creatives apart from the rest. We want to know what works, what converts, what makes the needle move. We can actually go out and find out what works and what doesn’t, we can test and iterate and modify our product to best meet the needs of our users or our clients users. This doesn’t make us less creative, quite the opposite.
This philosophy is worth more to me than an ADDY or WEBBY because to me, at this point in my career, a satisfied user is the real prize in this game of digital marketing. Some might not find that appealing as a creative or marketer, but it’s what gets me up every day.