He who asks a question is a fool for five minutes; he who does not ask a question remains a fool forever – Chinese Proverb.
A great quote to start this blog post about the question process of, in this case, designing. This will make you think more thoroughly about your inspiration, your ideas and your design. Not all questions will be relevant in all cases but the least you can do is think about it. In the last post about processes, is written that there is a process in everything from idea to product. In this case, we will be asking questions to yourself during this whole process and might be a process by itself. This process is divided into four substeps: LOOK, SEE, IMAGINE & SHOW.
- WHAT AM I LOOKING AT? As you all know by now, is my love for Pinterest. I pin images that inspire me or that have an interesting look to it. But before you even decide to pin it, your subconscious will ask some of these questions, but for a change, do this consciously. What are you looking at?
- WHAT ARE THE LIMITS? By the time you know what you are looking at you might ask yourself some more questions such as that are the limits of this certain product, image, look etc..
- WHAT DOES IT MISS? It if funny, when you are a visual thinker you will probably recognise the fact that when someone describes a product, you will make automatically an image in your head. Once you see their design, what does it miss? And would this missing thing be important in your design?
- WHAT’S ALREADY THERE? A very important question to ask yourself when you are designing anything, from a toilet seat to an amazing leather bag… What is already there? You shouldn’t invent the same thing over and over again…
- WHAT DO I LIKE ABOUT IT? After looking you will see it. Literally, the signals have arrived at your brain and have processed it. So now you see it, what do you like about it? Is it a colour, the actual product or the idea behind it?
- HAVE I SEEN THIS BEFORE? And if so, where have you seen it? It might be interesting to check this out. If you like it and seen it before, you might have spotted the next bullet point.
- IS IT A TREND OR PATTERN? I love to see whether I can predict the trends of the next seasons. It is a little game I play with myself but comes in very handy when you want to make a bag design for the next season!
- WHAT STANDS OUT? Is there one particular ‘thing’ that catches your eye, or what you love the most of it? That is what will make you or anyone else love it!
- HOW CAN I PARTICIPATE & MANIPULATE THESE TRENDS? You don’t want to be the copycat, so you will have to give your design a twist. Manipulate those trends and make it even better!
- OR IS THERE ENOUGH OF THIS TREND? Sometimes, you notice the trend a little late, or just isn’t your cup of tea. And let’s be honest, not all trends do have to come back…
- IS THIS WHAT I SAW? Alright, let’s close Pinterest and rethink about what you have seen. Your mind will influence your memory whether you want it or not. Although this might also come in handy and provide you with new ideas, new thinking space and check later if your design is exactly the same or if you have made a ‘new memory’.
- IS THIS WHAT I EXPECTED TO LOOK LIKE? Just as bullet point three of LOOK is you will have set your own expectations or image in your head with what you expect it to look like. It is interesting to look back and review this point.
- WHAT WOULD I WANT IT TO LOOK LIKE? Just before the end of the process, you know what you have made for example, what you expected it to look like, but think back to what you wanted it to look like. So the last question states:
- DOES IT LOOK LIKE I WANTED?
Once you have come to the end of this process chain you have thoroughly thought about your design. Did you came up with new ideas or are there much more Pinterest hours to come? Love to hear your process and what you have come up with due to these questions!