Synaesthesia Magazine Green - Page 31

Kickoff conferences are overwhelming for me. Some describe this feeling as “sensory overload”, which I suppose is true. In order to cope, I’ve developed a process similar to one an artist might use to cleanse his brushes. After all, I work with many different types of projects and it’s important to keep emotion from one project from tainting another. Therefore, alone in my office, I begin to write.As I consider the recent conversation, images form in my mind.

Sometimes these images make sense – they match what I’m thinking perfectly – but other times, they make little to no sense at all. I’ve learned to draw them anyway. Though they’re confusing at first, a pattern typically emerges. These patterns eventually become processes and those processes form storyboards and flow diagrams. Questions come to mind that I may not have asked the client, so I jot them down. They add color to the painting in my mind, which is now showing structure and form.

The database begins to show itself at the center of the canvas, sprawling outward with tiny veins of color that leak into every corner. In my mind, a database is the heart of the project, pumping and recycling data throughout the website in a meaningful way. Programming is the water that attaches and carries the information between system components. These tendrils of color vary by the type of function connected, from the bright reddish-orange of login and logout processes to turquois shopping carts. As you can imagine, the larger the project, the more intricate the detail.

These works-in-progress are stored within my mind and recalled time and again as the project continues. Every facet, from design to development, is cross-checked with this mental image. If something doesn’t feel right, I locate it immediately and voice concern. Many times, designers will use my feedback to modify component design in favor of a better user interface. This process may repeat itself several times until we’re ready to launch.

Though I have direct influence on every product created, the ultimate success of these endeavors largely depend on client involvement and feedback along the way. The client is (and always will be) the most important part of any project’s success. Should their focus be lost or misguided, the outcome will certainly be affected. If only I could show them what I “see”, perhaps they would understand how truly important they are. I may create the art in my mind, but their vision, hope and experience shape the direction in which their final illustration is drawn.