Bull Driven Design
My First Day at Church of Simplicity
I was hired as a product designer to be part of a creatively acclaimed team that had proven its worth numerous times already. In awe of Farmazon’s impeccable design, It felt magical (Count me in as a font aficionado.). To my surprise though, I was assigned on a project that was in the making and not on display.
As I had been welcomed and onboarded; the realization of the herculean task that stood before my team became apparent. The product was sound as far as functionality was concerned. But there were discrepancies in the UX and overall confusion that seeped through the cracks of UI. The Time that had already been spent on the project was swinging on my peers like the sword of Damocles.
I was told to wait in the conference room. We were to carry out some testing on the product that day and an executive was to be involved in this session. As the stress of being a newcomer and having to work with an executive on my first week sank in, I arrived in the room and laid my laptop on the pitch-black table. there it was: The Bull. Hanging on the wall, encapsulating the room with its presence. All 11 versions and last scene with artist’s signature.
A familiar scene
The Bull is a series of lithographs done by Picasso. He gradually deconstructs the figure of the right up until its essentials. Picasso starts with a mythical, full-on bull figure and transforms it into an image that immediately conveys features of a bull without drowning the observer in details.
Little is known
Lithographs do not use the same stone to make such structural adjustments. Picasso did just that. He did so with an elegance that the initial and final bulls still had so much in common and so less.
We did just that throughout the “testing session.”. It was a ritual. We circled back to the initial version; carefully smeared, erased, re-positioned, gutted it. We went on to discover its essence. We poured hours of mental power and spent all our decision-making prowess into the design. Mind you, this was my first official meeting with the whole team. I had literally just clocked in minutes ago.
There weren’t official meet-ups or parties. My “boss” did not summon me to his room and walked me through his vision. I did not go through an employee training program. It was midnight when we were done and as I strode back home Farmazon’s silver bullet was revealed to me. Small; close-knit and inclusive groups, working towards simplicity.