Fly on the wall
Experience vs. perspective: The dichotomy of creativity
I think it’s important to start the blog with talking about experience in context. Experience has two meanings:
- Practical contact with and observation of facts or events.
- An event or occurrence which leaves an impression on someone.
Fly Agency use creative ideation and UX/UI design to craft experiences, in the sense of definition 2, occurrences that leave impressions — something we happen to do quite well. However this blog will cover the practical contact with facts and events. Basically the experience that is associated with expertise gained from repetitively performing a task.
Experience, is it necessary?
Anyone who has finished education to go into work will no doubt have heard the paradox of no work without experience, no experience without work. Experience will get you a safe pair of hands that understands the task at hand and can go through the motions to produce results in a reliable, almost predictable fashion.
But how does an agency get the experience of working with a sector? Especially with so many new and diverse categories emerging, dividing, multiplying and granularising. A new agency will call upon the experience of its staff and previous projects and in an emerging market an “experienced” agency will tackle a problem with a tried and tested process that has been applied to a similar problem.
Experience alone however, will encourage similar behaviour and develop a “comfort zone” for creative thinking. In some cases, channeling too many like-for-like solutions, causing barriers to problem solving.
Perspective — Creative agencies’ greatest weapon
Problem solving requires creativity, hitting objectives, meeting challenges etc… they require creative solutions and therefore creative thinking. Perspective is the reason a lot of creative agencies or creative consultancies get hired to work on design, digital or UX projects. They provide that outside view that a client simply wouldn’t have, think of the phrase: “can’t see the wood for the trees” — it’s the most apt analogy.
Perspective enables a creative consultant to boil down the problem to its simplest form, to cut through the noise to see it for what it means. Also, because the creative partner is not part of the business, they take a viewpoint from someone far more important, the customer/consumer. Sometimes asking the difficult questions, or the questions that may have been glossed over...no matter how simple.
That perspective and viewpoint of an external creative agency is the key to achieving project success.
So in conclusion, it’s important to remember that there has to be a suitable balance between both experience and perspective. This can run on a sliding scale, dependent on the challenge, the market (customer) and the client.
Recently Fly Agency engaged in a project to deliver web design services for an engineering client, with an exceptionally complex product. It was fortunate that a member of the Fly team had significant understanding of the specific strand of engineering and the purpose that the product served, however with the outside perspective to collaborate well enough and distill benefits for creative and web development teams to bring their expertise to the fore — representing the essential balance of experience and perspective.
Jon Broadbent is Creative Director and Founder of Fly Agency
He creates outstanding designs and consults clients on how their brand should look and feel.