Sunday, May 27, 2012


I was recently part of an interview session with a candidate for a designer position at the company I work for, where all the typical questions were being asked about process, challenges, and outcomes. Suddenly it occurred to me: Why don’t we as designers do a better job of following up on the results of a given project?

The more you think about it, the more of a blatant omission in process it is. Design’s done, artwork handed off; it’s either portfolio-worthy or it isn’t, case closed. Onward.

Crazy. It’s like leaving a big piece of the story back in the Accounts Department. You could’ve had a tangible story to tell about clickthrough rates or spikes in sales; instead you’re left with the classic feeble standby: “It got great results, the customer was really happy.”

Most if not all design and advertising projects (Identity design aside) involve some sort of problem-solving; most are targeted toward arousing some sort of customer response.

It’s not until one of us is waist-deep in an interview for a position we really want, that we realize that maybe we should have always made it a point to follow up after every single design project and demand to know what the outcome was in tangible numbers. You kind of start thinking they should teach this in design school as part of the regular routine of beginning-middle-end of a project - I’ve never heard of a job interview where having that information readily available didn’t make a difference.

With the current competitive environment for design jobs, you need all the ammo you can get; it’s a shame if you couldn’t be bothered to collect it.

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