Do you believe you can design your life in a similar fashion to how you would go about designing a logo? Well, maybe it’s not the exact same thing, but in terms of process and mindset, we’ve grown to apply a lot of design thinking towards our lives.
When you apply your skills and training to the way you approach life, you start to see that the similarities are everywhere, and that although not everything is in your control, there is a lot you get to decide on.
Let’s Start: The Brief
Essentially, a brief is goal setting. In design, it’s the client outlining what they want you to achieve for them. In life, it’s you forward-thinking what you want your future to look like. So, where do you start? Some people believe that a quick question to ask is: “Where do you see yourself in 5 years?” To us, that seems pretty cliched, and also quite arbitrary. We like to look at things differently. What about formulating the question as: “What are you willing to suffer for?” We can all dream of fancy homes, lots of vacations, and a stress-free lifestyle…obviously, with lots of dogs around. But, not everything gets to be so perfect all the time.
Instead, we look at the future in a different light. While we can foresee the things we want to achieve, we also need to be realistic in how much we are willing to go through to make it happen. These elements, the ones worth fighting for, are the ones that are going to become reality because you set up no other option. In the same way, a brand knows that they want to emotionally connect with customers and stand out from the competition, they aren’t as caught up in the physical location or dollar amount in the back in a specific amount of time. We’re in it for the long haul, baby.
Look Around: Brainstorm & Market Research
This one can get a bit tricky. While in design, it’s imperative to look at the competition to see how you can really set yourself apart and simply understand the market you’re in, in life, comparison isn’t really a worthwhile energy expenditure. Instead, we like to look at it like this: compare yourself to yourself. You are in a market of you, and you’ve gone through some things and grown from them. That means, every day, you have the option to learn something new and approach life with a better mentality than the day before. Sure, this may seem like we’re stretching the design process a bit much to get our point across, but this is our philosophy, so we feel confident in propelling it forward!
Let’s Create: Mood Board & Sketch
Mood boards help designers organize their thoughts, visualize the vision, and create something out of nothing. In life, this means, you make like Nike and just do it. You have to try things out to see what sticks. When you were young, you didn’t know what you liked or didn’t like because you hadn’t yet tried much. But, you weren’t afraid because failure and repercussions were practically nonexistent. Imagine approaching life that way as an adult. When you let go of embarrassment, vulnerability, and the fear of making a mistake, you may be surprised by the outcome of what you create by just going with your intuition.
Tally Up: Refine
Okay, so maybe something you tried didn’t work out. So what?! You can always revisit the drawing board. You have your intention in mind (brief), you know about yourself (market research), you have the clues to cue the senses (mood board) – get back to it. Try, try, and try again until whatever you’re doing is bringing you closer to your goal. Persistence and patience are pertinent to success.
Move Ahead: Present
In design, nothing will happen if there isn’t a shared reality. When it’s time to present your concept to your boss and/or the client, you take everything you ideated and try to get everyone on board with your vision to make it reality. In the same way, sharing experiences in life is the culmination of moving your thoughts into action, and presenting yourself to the world.
Design processes, like aspects of life, are not one size fits all. Everyone, like every company, has a different value proposition, mission and goal to achieve. But, if you take concepts of the design process and put them forward in the way you design your life and consider choices, there is definitely good order to be gleaned.