The Top 10 things I wish I knew when I graduated college_ Debbie Millman

The Top 10 things I wish I knew when I graduated college_ Debbie Millman

Debbie Millman

Debbie Milman is fast becoming one of my heroes. Here is her fantastic talk The Top 10 things I wish I knew when I graduated college.

What really struck me is when she said find and know your purpose. Hers is to ‘try to make the supermarket more beautiful.’ It also got me thinking about the importance of presentation, it made a huge difference at university to who succeeded or didn’t.

1. Design talent is equivalent to operational excellence
Provide empathy, talk about what you do in a way that allows viewers to understand your message. Understand your messaging and communicate it to others

2. Design is not about design- it is about a whole lot of other things
We need an encyclopaedic knowledge of the world. The client is looking for a return on their investment, the difference will it make in somebody’s life (the value proposition)

3. There are two things that are not really about what we think they are about; money and sex
Money is rarely about money, convince them that the value you’ll provide will be valuable enough for them to pay for it

4. Ideas are easy. Strategy is much harder
Strategy is the unique point of difference. It is choosing activities differently. You should be able to communicate what you are doing and why you do what you do. Mine is “make supermarkets a beautiful place”

5. know what you are talking about
Tell the truth especially when you don’t know something. People love to teach

6. Common vocabulary does not equate to common behaviour
Work on the design brief with the client to decide what the client language means

7. Relentlessly prepare
Prepare yourself for every possible outcome

8. Beware of artificial harmony
It allows you to come up with a game plan

9. Seek out criticism
Only use work that you love, don’t use fillers to show your skills. If you’re not making enough mistakes you’re not taking enough risks

10. You need to know how to present.
Take a class! Talk about your work in a way that creates a framework and decide what your criteria for success is.

“Busy is a way of organising you priorities if you really want to do something you’ll find the time to do it”

“Take opportunities to continue to be educated”

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