Week 11 - 4 January 2020

I went back to work on Thursday. I’ve enjoyed myself over the last two days. The worst bit has been sitting stiff in an office chair for 8 hours a day again. I’ll do better next week.

In between small tasks, like getting our website ready for the launch of our TV ad on Monday, I’ve mostly been playing with the ‘Guide to Death’ (name TBC) project I’ve mentioned a few times. Exploring things like:

  • how we link content together non-hierarchically
  • how we depict collections of things
  • how we deal with authorship
  • how different types of content sit alongside each other
  • how we make something feel both warm and authoritative

Playing is the right word - It’s been undirected - just jumping and tumbling from idea to idea. It’s the kind of thing I’d encourage other designers to do - but sometimes feel guilty doing it myself. I asked Charlotte (developer with a design background) if I’d gone too far and she remarked that it probably wasn’t far enough.

Understanding the material you’re working with is important, and an efficient way to do that is through play. After we sifted through some of my efforts Charlotte mentioned she was jealous that my job was so fun - maybe that’s where the unease comes from. Smarter people than me have written about the effect having immigrant parents can have on your attitude towards work. I don’t think my mum would have ever imagined that work could be anything other than a means to survival.

I’m wondering about the most efficient way to get the right people involved at the right points for the ‘Guide to Death’. It strikes me that as you build relationships and trust with a group of people (ie: a company) maybe you can rely less on big workshops (which are expensive in terms of people’s time) and more on one-to-one chats. We’re kicking the project off officially on Monday, so I’m sure things’ll be clearer then.

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