After traveling around the world for the last four years, the number one question I encounter has been: “How do you do digital creative work?” And in theory there are many answers. If you are a creative technologist, you may come at it from a technology perspective. If you are a traditional print-centric creative, you may approach it from a messaging and visual perspective.
None of these is wrong. But they can box us in and limit us.
I prefer another approach. The best digital ideas come from being empathetic to the user or customer. Ask yourself this: What could I create that would be useful, usable or desirable to this person? What kind of experience could I surround this person with to delight him or interest her?
Here are the two steps to creating humanly relevant digital creative experiences:
Step 1: Dream it.
Don’t think platforms, technology, execution or tactics. Think about what would be super-useful, usable or just downright desirable to your audience. Write about it. Talk it up. Express it in terms of emotion or in terms of what it enables customers to do. Think about how it connects to all parts of their lives. What else could do they do with this experience? When and where would they use it?
Step 2: Do it.
Unleash your “digital dream” thinking on a team of technologists, creative people, project managers, AEs and anyone who can listen. Let the people who know digital start articulating what this could be and how it could be built.
Dream it and do it. It is creativity and problem solving at its best. Dreamers and doers united to do something great. And you never started with a Facebook app, website or banner ad.
Mike Tittel is the executive creative director of gyro Cincinnati.
Follow Mike on Twitter @Tittel