I’d like to introduce you to Daniel Harvey. Daniel is Experience Design Director for Sapient Nitro. He guides over thirty designers in their Experience Design practice in the UK. A fair few of our Digital Media Management alumni have gone on to work at Sapient Nitro and Daniel has been a big support in the creation of the new Experience Design programme since day one. We became friends on twitter and I was lucky enough to share a drink with him at Digital Shoreditch. I’m really chuffed he is coming to talk to the students about all things Experience Design and what this means in the industry… here’s what he has to say.
1. What’s the biggest lesson you’ve learnt over the last year?
The future doesn’t care about your roadmaps. Not a new lesson per se but one that proves itself true a lot lately. Digital transformation is something that challenges many of my clients. Many will try to plan, plan again, and plan one more time for 2-3 years out and it rarely works. I’m a big believer in what was once Pandora’s model. As a young company with limited resources they made a decision to work in 90 day cycles. They’d ideate features, rank them, and then they’d crank on with making. When the next cycle came up they’d start fresh. Backlogs are the enemy. This let them interrogate their business case, customer insight, and experience at market-speeds.
2. What’s your burning question of the moment?
How near is now? I’ve done lots of work for clients asking for “future visions.” Where is our business going to be 3/5/10/20 years out from now. That always feels like a fool’s errand. I worked with HBO awhile back and it was impossible to predict how much the iPAD was going to change things. And that was a near-now product we suspected was in the pipeline! Making the best experiences for now creates tomorrow today.
3. What’s the most inspiring thing you’ve seen/ heard/ read in the last year?
I had an amazing week recently. I was working with a junior designer and in two hours we designed a light weight donation app. A senior designer and I spent 6 hours coming up with designs for a provocation about streaming music. A startup I’m mentoring has created a itself whole from cloth in about 100 days. Speed is thrilling.
4. What would be your one piece of advice to students on Hyper Island’s new MA in Digital Experience Design?
Stay curious. The best experience designers are knowledge junkies. We need to know A LOT about A LOT of things. It helps us make connections. Connections with people, processes, products, etc. Do whatever you can do feed your brain, your eyes, and your hands to see & make patterns. It will be time well-spent.
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