Rome, Italy - June, 2012 hashtag: #foi12
Group Director, Strategy - FJORD DESIGN
Louisa is a big believer in the power of design to make sense of a complex world. Before joining Fjord, she had been working in the digital/ux design space for over 13 years, across sectors from financial to government to consumer goods; across b2b, b2c, commercial and not-for-profit; on both the client and the agency side. Now that technology has advanced to the point where the question has moved from ‘what can this do?’ to ‘what should we do with it?’, Louisa spends most of her time helping businesses small and large find more innovative, engaging means of accomplishing their goals, relating to their customers through the creative application of well-designed technology. Her credits include time at the BBC and work with clients such as United Airlines, Procter & Gamble, the US Internal Revenue Service, Eli Lilly, Nokia, Orange, Samsung, Deutsche Telekom, Vodafone and El Mundo. She loves solving complex problems, working with brilliant people, SCUBA diving, and a perfect martini. She is flattered that you’ve read this entire paragraph.
Design for the Future, Design for Invisibility
Design used to be about making objects - functional objects that helped people do what they needed or wanted to do. In the digital world, the artefacts are interfaces - and what's seen as the heart of digital design is the layers that sit between humans and the things they interact with. But this is a side effect, not the heart. Design is actually about solving problems - translating, making technology or concepts or abstractions accessible to normal people. Whether the outcome is an object or a set of pixels or something else is secondary. Which means that as the world and the technology in it continues to evolve, we as designers need to continue to expand our skill set to cope with new kinds of problems and translations. I've been saying for years that great design is invisible - I used to mean that when we do our jobs well, lay people don't know we've been there. Whatever it is, it just works. Now, I'm starting to think we should be consciously designing invisibility - questioning whether an interface is even necessary at all, examining ways to remove the layers between people and whatever they're interested in - some of the layers that we've probably made.