As a product designer, I see evidence every day that you don’t need to be an artist to contribute creative ideas. Being creative isn’t a personality type or a job title or a degree you earn in graduate school. It’s a way of thinking. It’s a way of working. It’s a process. Anyone can participate. And everyone who does, can contribute something valuable. Here’s how I know.
Designers and architects don’t have an easy job. Beyond the work it takes to translate ideas into interior designs or blueprints into beautiful buildings, you have to navigate the murky waters of opinion. You have to call upon Zen-like patience to deal with brutally blunt criticism while somehow turning layers of feedback into an idea everyone approves. But there is a way to make the approval process feel more like conversation than conflict. It’s all about choosing tools that let your whole team work together seamlessly. Here’s how to start.
At this year’s SXSW conference, we had a chance to chat with some of our favorite artists to find out what sparks their creative process and how they collaborate on music, comedy, and storytelling. Here’s what we learned from Australian singer/songwriter Vera Blue about letting the vibe of your environment—and chemistry with your collaborators—shape the sound of your songs.
Five years ago, Passenger’s life changed with the release of mega-hit “Let Her Go.” We had a chance to sit down with the talented artist to hear about his day-to-day life, his creative challenges, and what’s next.
Since my days as the co-founder of Presentate, I’ve been asking why so many collaboration tools get in the way of creating great content. As part of the team at Dropbox, I’ve been working on ways to help people develop ideas together, even when they’re on opposite sides of the world. What I’ve found is that few solutions are in sync with the way people create, or the way teams collaborate. Sometimes, the tools themselves are actually an obstacle to the creative process. That’s why I think it’s time to rebuild collaboration from the idea up.
At Dropbox, we’re big believers in the benefits of an open creative process. When it comes to collaboration, transparency is the key to improving team communication, removing silos, and streamlining workflows. Chances are, the diverse departments throughout your company are using a number of tools to gather insights. And integrating those tools can be the key to enabling transparency. Here’s how project managers can leverage those integrations to make that process less complicated.