What matters more, an idea or the way idea is presented? Did you ever think why a good idea fails when other with just ok one could be the winner?
I personally found that lots of people have great ideas, like when they are communicating to others but when the time come to see the final show it did not turn out to be so good. Like, take the case of a team of 2-3 people participating for a design competition, they have solid ideas but they are busy in adding more interesting features in a product while forgetting about the how it will look. They are doodling out nicely but now no much time left for the rendering or making a nice layout. That’s how the things turn. Same time second team started working on Rhino or 3-D max and rendered it with cool textures and did good Photoshop effects and added nice words about describing the product and the end result turn out to be so good that even if their product have only few features but it has everything- detailed drawing, nicely made product and good descriptions. Not only in a competition but also notice the way ideas are presented in company. Here communication plays a major role, by taking help of well defined presentation, use of diagram, conceptual product images and points in bullets.
I was wondering what would be the essential for portraying an idea successfully–
Communication : Either you are presenting your ideas verbally, written or visually it should be communicable. In the 2nd two cases (Written & visually) – self explanatory even if in orally then also because at times people are not li stening what you are talking but seeing.
Layout : Choosing a nice layout always distinguish you from rest.
Pick up the font size, font style & font colors in a way that one could easily understand. As a rule, don’t use more than 2 font type, offcourse one can play around with thickness of font.
Visualization : It’s a fact that people not only understand but also retain more information if it is presented visually well. So using graph, process flow chart is a good thing or use storyboard but it should not be complicated or time consuming to prepare. It gives a general idea to the people (Technician, artists.).
Product/ design image : Putting your idea along with the product drawing make sense as other will know what actually you are trying to say. If time is constraint at least put the sketch. Along with it put little bit product information in approximately figures that will explain how big or small the product is going to be.
Variation : If possible, present your idea with variation through different drawing, images. As it will give precise understanding of how the product would look in other color, size or that feature.
Material, process & technology : don’t forget to mention what material/s would be use where, how parts will join together or what technology is going to use in it. Further refinement will keep happening but it will give a clear view to others.
Preliminary Study : If ideas is a manifestation of an existing product or similar kind of product do exist, make it a point to mention it while presenting your idea. Otherwise, other might claim, they have seen similar kind of product. Other strong point, this way you could say, what more potential your idea have that existing one didn’t.
Facts & figures : If idea is catering to a mass or a particular segment always do some research in collecting general facts & figures either by searching on internet or going to library or bookstore. This speaks how serious you are about the idea.
Costing : Through at the initial stage it’s not important to think of cost but one should have a rough idea what would be the cost if going to execute it. Second, while presenting the ideas, others too can make suggestion.
Loopholes or problem area : Don’t forget to mention it, it’s not about being honest about your idea but also will give the chance to come up with solution to tackle it while presenting or afterwards.
Be prepared : Be prepared about how you are going to present the ideas; what would be the opening line, when to show the sketch or technical drawing. And how you will answer the others questions. Practice before going to talk about your idea. Rehearsal always helps as it generates the questions that might be asked by audience.
Few More points to add –
Learn softwares : You not have to be good in sketching but also be very good with presentations software like Corel Draw, Adobe InDesign, Rhino, solidworks etc.
Writing skills : Writing in designing matter. Have good vocabulary, write something creative either maintains an online journel (Blog).
Keep yourself Updated : Read good designing books, check good blogs etc and never forget to read a newspaper regularly, atleast re ad headlines. Yeah, keep yourself updated with everything that is happening in world either politics, sports or economy.
Be confident : There are people with ego who will simply deny the ideas. There is hierarchy in company, being a junior designer doesn’t mean your ideas left unheard.
Know yourself : Self realization, what is strong about you, where you are lagging behind and how to improve. 1st of realizing, 2nd is approving it.
Time factor : Time management is important as well as the time in terms of future of an idea. The idea is like a baby. Think in terms of the growth of it
Listen & learn : Listen more, talk less. Try to understand what other is saying instead of not giving the chance to speak or arguing. Give suggestion but 1st Listen.
Discuss among friends : Talk to others about it, like, what they think about it. Either when you talking to your design school classmate or your ex colleague on messenger.
There could be more points but it does not mean one rely on the way idea is going to portray. In the end of the day, it’s actually the potential that an idea have creates the distinction. Your idea should have essence otherwise all the hard work one did will be waste. I asked to my friends (Industrial as well as visual communication), what they think- idea matters or the way idea is presented. Whatever, but the general people (read- Designers!) perception is the way idea is presented. By claiming, the core of idea goes to trash if not presented well. Through most of them accepted its both that matters. But none of them denied the power of presentation.