Thursday, 12 February 2009

Managing our brains

We had a great workshop on Tuesday evening. The subject was "what you need to know before you start work on your website". Since then I've been reflecting on the ways our brains, and our selves, affect the way we do, or don't do, our work.

I procrastinate. There is a small pile of receipts laying in a box in testimony to that fact. These days I manage it. I know how to trick my brain into doing. I also know how to see the guilt feeling and not get in a whirlwind of reactions.

Whether or not you procrastinate, you have a brain that enables and disables you in different ways. Ultimately living, and working, is about learning how to manage yourself and your brain. It's about knowing how to use your brain skilfully and how to nurture it.

It amazes me that doing work, as an employee or a business owner, is always about dealing with our own humanity. No, hang on. It's not the fact that amazes me, but that I thought the world was telling me that business was somehow separate from humans.

There is more to be thought of and said about this. I'm looking forward to the conversations.

Sunday, 1 February 2009

I’m a text supremacist because…

Before you design your logo, before you communicate anything, you have to know what you are and what you want to say. Your message and the way your business feels are first captured in words. Well it’s in someone’s brain first, as a concept, but then it gets written down.

TWO The way your business looks, from the colours to the website and the office sign, communicates your message and your feel. The people who design this stuff have to know what you seek to say. That’s why you have to start with point one.

THREE I think you should write your website text before you create the design. A website is a piece of communication. It should be designed to enable people to read it, use it, understand the message and experience the feel of your business. It’s illogical that the words come last and get rushed because everyone's had enough and just wants to go live, now!

FOUR I would love to see more well designed text online. Huge swathes of blocky, fully justified text looks dull and can be difficult to read. I think some sort of online typesetting revolution is in order.

FIVE I think you should only ever employ designers who can, and do, read and understand the words you give them to turn into newsletters, websites and printed communications.

Wo ho, text is best.