People in other industries react to being asked for spec work [Video](

almost 6 years ago from Jonathan Shariat, Designer @ Google | Author @ O'Reilly | Podcaster @ DesignReview

  • Jon MyersJon Myers, almost 6 years ago (edited almost 6 years ago )

    I’m not sure if all these metaphors to the medical profession are apt, but - one thing is for sure.

    Spec work, especially in the world of digital product design, that’s a signal to runnnnnnnnnn away.

    Spec: The Design as Decoration Dog & Pony Show

    It’s a signal that you’re dealing with a design as decoration mindset. “Show me your campaign ideas and what will look good!

    It’s a signal that stakeholders will be playing armchair designer, and they’ll “know it when they see it” - as designers chase their tails and take stabs in the dark.

    Spec is often a way to offload and defer the critical thinking of design whereby everyone sits back and reacts to a superficial interpretation, rather than the deep thinking and debate of design.

    And, it’s a ruse whereby stakeholders think they are going to “get all the best ideas” - yeahhhh, and bolt them together into a Frankenstein Design.

    A lot of agencies are still playing the spec game, because frankly, they have no clue how to sell design, let alone talk about it in a contemporary manner.

    And many playing that old spec game always appear to be fist to mouth or design is a line item in larger budgets.

    0 points