Computer Arts - - Back To Basics -

to me, “Stop fuck­ing about mak­ing the­o­ret­i­cal ad­ver­tis­ing and mock­ing it up on phone screens and pro­to­type it!” I was taken aback. But in hind­sight, the very fact I’d shown him dig­i­tal ideas in a printed port­fo­lio seems lu­di­crous. So, how can we bring our ideas to life and give PSD mockups a wide berth?


The in­ter­net is a beau­ti­ful, messed-up, in­fi­nite di­men­sion. Your idea is com­pet­ing for at­ten­tion with the mil­lion other things peo­ple can do on­line. Is your idea more ap­peal­ing than watch­ing Net­flix? It’s a high bar, but it forces you to start think­ing about what mo­ti­vates peo­ple on­line. B. J. Fogg, a lec­turer in be­havioural de­sign at Stan­ford Univer­sity, states that all hu­mans are mo­ti­vated to seek plea­sure and avoid pain; to seek hope and avoid fear; and fi­nally, to seek so­cial ac­cep­tance and avoid re­jec­tion. Which mo­ti­va­tion does your idea tap into, and would it be easy for peo­ple to ac­cess or en­gage with it? The for­mula is: mo­ti­va­tion + avail­abil­ity = ac­tion.


What steps must you take to cre­ate a demo of your idea? Can you build on what al­ready ex­ists? Open APIs, snip­pets of code, and whole com­mu­ni­ties are out there to help bring your pro­ject to life. And learn­ing how to join up sec­tions of code is a lot eas­ier than learn­ing to do it from scratch. Fail­ing this, web­sites like Fiverr and Peo­plePerHour en­able you to hire devel­op­ers from around the world; a Chrome ex­ten­sion might only cost around £40 to build. As soon as it works, re­lease it onto the web. If you wait for it to be per­fect, it’ll never go any­where.


How can you get peo­ple talk­ing about and en­gag­ing with your idea? Make a Twit­ter ac­count and fol­low peo­ple you think might be po­ten­tial users. Can you

get in the news? Sites such as www.hel­pare­ con­nect you with jour­nal­ists who might be look­ing for sto­ries on a re­lated topic. A sim­ple land­ing page for your pro­ject that peo­ple can share or sign up to will tell you whether there’s an ap­petite for your idea.

Imag­ine show­ing your creative di­rec­tor your idea in a note­book. Now imag­ine show­ing them a web­site and telling them you have 5,000 signups for it. Sud­denly they’re ex­cited, and you’re no longer de­pen­dent on their ap­proval.

The process of cre­at­ing a pow­er­ful dig­i­tal idea should be like life be­fore the mouse. Know your idea inside out and build it step by step, like en­ter­ing code into a ter­mi­nal. If an im­age or a head­line doesn’t work, change it. Ask peers to scan your work for bugs, but­tons that don’t make sense and ex­pla­na­tions that feel long-winded, be­fore giv­ing you feed­back.

And roll out new it­er­a­tions of your pro­ject with light­ning speed, ready to show the world. That’s how you make great work that lives in the real world. You get your hands dirty. Be wary of the mouse.

The Tele­graph: Wire Matthew Churchill’s project is a dig­i­tal plat­form for The Tele­graph, where ex­perts an­swer reader ques­tions on the lat­est ar­ti­cles.

Adobe: Brand iden­tity Ju­lia Baulin’s project created a new logo for Adobe Creative Cloud that di­rectly in­ter­acts with the work of its creative users.

Na­tion­wide: Mes­sen­ger This project by Jor­dan Am­blin sim­pli­fies Na­tion­wide’s ser­vice by har­ness­ing the num­ber one mes­sag­ing plat­form for mil­len­ni­als.

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