Thirty Conversations on Design – Wylie

I found these little videos to be very insightful. Listening to professionals from various industries provide information in bite-sized chunks was, in my opinion, a very good way to convey messages. The three videos that I watched were from Pete Doctor, Tony Hawk, and Daniel Pink.

Pete Doctor, an animator responsible for helping to bring to life such Pixar classics as Toy Story and Up, talked about the importance of story. When many people think of design elements, story is often not one of them. Doctor’s extreme (and yes, somewhat silly) example of standing on the edge of the roof of his house demonstrated this by making viewers pay attention to him, like how a good story grabs the attention of a viewer. As someone interested in producing video-based media, this lesson on story was great.

When I clicked on the Tony Hawk video, I was hoping to see the Birdman talk about the great design innovations that his video game series, Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater, brought to western game audiences and how they contributed to the childhoods of many young gamers, myself included. But his brief exposition about Apple products was nice, too. His argument makes a lot of sense: before the Apple II, the computer really was just a machine used in the work place. You wouldn’t know it by talking to the “PC Master Race” crowed, but the California based company made computing into something fun and accessible for the home.

Daniel Pink’s most important element of design is the eraser. He states that one of the most important part of designs is making mistakes. It’s through making mistakes that creators learn, grow, and get better at their chosen craft. The eraser, and “all of its different incarnations”, as Pink puts it, allows us to refine our design in ways that would not be possible without it.

All in all, I enjoyed these videos. I’d argue that I got more out of these bite-sized videos than I have out of longer, feature-length documentaries. Design is a very different process for all who do it, so it was nice to see the different examples on the “Thirty Conversations” website.

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