We humans love our internet.
But for all the time we spend googling, tweeting, Instagramming, Snapchatting, and Netflix-and-chilling, we never really stop to think about the people who make these everyday experiences possible.
Clark Valberg wanted to find out.
Valberg, CEO of the software design company InVision, recently packaged that curiosity into a new feature film called “Design Disruptors,” which is set to be released in early 2016. It goes behind the scenes of the world’s leading tech companies to learn how, exactly, they make their world-changing products so unbelievably good.
The short answer: The customer has never been more important, and everything flows from there.
“The best companies in the world are product-driven because they understand that that’s where the rubber meets the road,” Valberg tells Tech Insider. “The point where you create the light, the excitement, the addiction — whatever it is you’re trying to create — is some screen someplace.”
Valberg and his team interviewed a raft of product designers and business executives at Netflix, Airbnb, Facebook, Twitter, Google, Pinterest, and more. The same themes kept bubbling to the surface: Nothing matters — not engineering, not coding, not cost — until the software is perfect.
“You get surprised when you see it happening,” Valberg says. “When you see the CFO of Twitter involved in design conversations.”
In order to flourish as a public service — whether it’s letting people rent out their rooms or send selfies to their friends — the best companies also seem to understand that flatness matters, Valberg says. “I think the collaboration quotient was profound.”
It has to be, given how difficult it is to create simplicity.
The most intuitive functions in people’s favourite apps — the elegance of Google’s search engine, Twitter’s hashtags — they all began as lone ideas surrounded by thousands of others. And it was the designers’ job to figure out which pieces were worthless and which were gold. Collaboration expedites that process.
“We imagine these scenarios where someone just draws a line on a whiteboard and everybody applauds,” Valberg says. “There are no breakthrough moments. There are breakthrough methods.”
Valberg hopes that the movie will help people will gain newfound respect for design as a discipline, not some sort of magic.
“There are leadership skills that can be learned by the designers in organisations and there are design skills that can be learned by non-design leaders,” he says. “Design is a universal currency. It’s a lingua franca.”
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