Few months ago, I joined a pottery class and as I was advancing and creating my little piece of art, I could not help but notice how similar the process is to that of a lifecycle of digital products.
The first day I walked in, my teacher said: “Your first pottery does not know what it wants to be”. Similarly, a lot of the clients come in with amazing ideas that would change the world, yet they lack the support and clarity to from an idea to a tangible product. The idea does not know what it wants to be or how it wants to be.
At this particular moment, art starts. I know that art might be the last thing that comes to your mind when you think of a product, and the association might not be clear. However, if you have painted, done pottery, wrote a poem, or have done anything related to art you would know exactly how it starts with a sparkling idea or feeling that slowly turns into something beautiful.
So what happens once clients have an idea? They almost always come to us with this enthusiastic, chaotic, happy aura just like an artist runs to his canvas and a poet to his papers. The only difference is that we, as a team, combine together with the client to become this artist. Together, we become the brain that sparks all the creativity and the hands that form the art.
Artists usually have these feelings and thoughts that s/he would want to express and share with the world. To do so, they gives in to their creativity. This works towards bringing their feelings to life. A client, on the other hand, gives in to the expertise of our designers and engineers to nurture his idea.
Similar to how an artist moves from an urge of expression to creating a sharable piece, we move from what the impact that the client wants to make all the way to how to implement it. We take an idea and work around it, deconstruct it, doubt it, question it, counter it, and challenge it until we have striped it down to its core. And from there, we build it back up. We start defining the functionalities, just like an artist starts moulding their piece.
When creating any piece of art, the base of your piece is one of the most important elements. Without a good foundation, your piece will be fragile and would possibly break at any moment. So it is important for your to build a solid base with good material. Similarly, when building a digital product, your backend and APIs should be solid and you need to choose the best technology to build a reliable application.
“Patience. It is all about patience”. This was one piece of advice that I will never forget my teacher giving as we got close to the end. As someone who gets very excited and would like to finish as fast as possible and share my work with people around me, I often find it hard to go through the small bits and pieces at the very end. However, through refining my pottery piece, and having to fix those small pieces of code here and there, this has taught me how important it is to be patient and go through this process. The end results change dramatically and honestly it is true: it all lies in the details. So, refining your code, optimising it, and making sure your application looks great on every possible screen is the key. However, do not confuse this with over-polishing. Keep it simple, clean and smooth. And let your art come to life :)