Stating the obvious

My first regret about these weekly blog posts is giving them such shite names; the list is starting to look like a database malfunction. So from here on in each post will have a title of its very own.

This week's is inspired by a recent wave of facilitating workshops to help companies state the obvious—a surprisingly difficult thing for many to do. What do I mean by stating the obvious? I'll explain with a wee test: how quickly can you fill in these three blanks for your company / product / service?

If it takes you more than a few seconds, you probably need to devote some quality time to the thinking behind the blanks. If you're confused about what you do, who you do it for and why, you're most likely confusing your market. So making sure this is on the tip of your tongue (and everyone's who speaks on your company's behalf) is vitally important.

Now try filling in the blanks for some of the big brands or products you love. I'd wager you can do it almost instantly. 

This is why so much of the design work I'm doing at the moment begins with a session figuring this stuff out. If you can unravel the confusion and surface some clarity (which more often than not isn't lurking too deeply), ideas start falling into place and you can be utterly clear in the way you communicate with your audience.

Codi: the self-writing diary

One of the mildly frustrating things about these blog posts is not being able to talk about the stuff I'm currently working in anything but the broadest sense. But here's one I can.

Over the last few months I've been giving a bit of advice to Trisent, a new company developing some incredibly clever location-aware apps. The first is called Codi, a personal diary which writes itself. Install the app and let it run in the background then once a day it writes a diary entry based on your movements—where you were, what you did, and what was happening around you.

There are loads of apps which track your movement—Strava, Moves,  Fitbit and Up—but Trisent's underpinning technology and purpose are very different. And, crucially, it won't kill your battery. It's about to see a very rudimentary alpha release and I'm looking forward to trying it out over the holidays. If you fancy giving it a whirl, you can sign up for the beta programme on the Trisent website.