The Value of Iteration

design thinking

May 2014

Telling a story for an audience is not easy. Especially, if your story includes elements of live coding or some abstractions that might not resonate with the background of an audience.

This is why preparation of a talk matters. Preparing a story gives you the opportunity to apply learnings from previous talks or experiments. While preparing a talk, you have the opportunity to recover from failures and to provide missing pieces that make sense as a whole. While preparing, you can put together a better story “design”.

As often with design, it is hard to say, what design exactly means. What I can say is that good design is something that “sticks”. With design, something feels better and fits a context such, that boundaries disappear.

As most design involve some visuals, design is increasingly an important part of a talk. Over the span of a talk, you deal with a number of slide-ware problems. You must deal with the design of single slides, and, maybe more difficult, you must design a “story” of slides.

Yet, as with any question of design, answers are hardly resulting from analytic thought. Answers result from facing emotions of an audience or from your inner gut feeling. Answers also result from accepting successes and failures from previous versions of a design.

The initial version of a design does not need to come from you though. This is where the quote of Picasso might come in, that says: “Good artists copy, great artists steal.” If some design stuck with you, it might stick with others.

So, find out what sticks with you. What sticks with you and why? What was a reader, user or audience taking away from a previous design? What design might stick with you or a friend next year? Now, design a story from that, and rinse and repeat.

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