Make bangers, not anthems

There are still agencies and consultancies out there using slide decks as the only deliverable, like it’s 1995. But it’s 2024 on the internet, so let’s act like it.

Explore Arts Council funding dataExplore Arts Council funding data

The internet is beautiful and incredible. In 1994 my dad printed the Saturday afternoon football results off from his computer, and I was amazed we didn’t have to look at Ceefax. Obviously we’ve moved on a bit since then, but some things remain true, primarily: it’s interactive. You can link to things. You can make things move around. You can keep things updated in real time. So take advantage of the internet and the affordances it offers.

It’s our material: like any other type of design, you need to understand the constraints of your medium — and ours is mostly the internet. (But you don’t need to learn to code any more.)

If it’s got (meta) data, make it playable. Share demos not decks.

Times we did this:

  • a playable roadmap for the British Library - filter by theme, timeframe and whether it’s something for discovery, build or measurement

Playable roadmap for British LibraryPlayable roadmap for British Library

  • Sportfunding - we used ChatGPT to build different data visualisations of Sport England funding so we could get our heads around where their funding allocations were going
  • Setup for the day order-a-tron - to minimise the who’s going next’ at our morning check-ins, we got a computer to do it instead

Setup for the day order-a-tronSetup for the day order-a-tron

Of course there’s still room for well written reports: it’s our job to deliver value for clients, and if a report is the best way to make an impact, then we write it down and make it brilliant.

But it’s also our job to push the practice forward and show what’s possible. Computers got cool again. Use them to explore ideas. Use them to run your projects better. Use them to deliver your end deliverables’. Have fun!

April 24, 2024