Avoid the content publication trap of “just publish something!”
At this exact moment, my videographer is four feet away from me, editing a project for a shoot I directed Monday and will be posted tomorrow morning. At this point, we’ve spent a solid day in post-production, doing as we always do, silently cursing ourselves for every time on Monday we said, “We’ll fix it in post.”
The biggest takeaway I have for creative direction as I apply it to my work is “Begin with the end in mind“. Once you have your vision of the perfect execution, work backwards to determine all of the steps you need to take to make this vision a reality.
Another thing I was dealing with today was planning for a major event taking place the week of March 16. My stakeholders know they want a strong digital effort, but they wanted to ask how I would do it before we finalized what we would be producing. I stopped them and re-started the conversation from a different angle: Let’s figure out the end result first; then I’ll find a way to get us there.
Put another way: “What will success look like when we’re finished?”
As part of a grad school reading, I took a look at this Readability article from 2011. The layout of the Samuel L. Jackson feature on Esquire’s website is made without an end goal in mind- beyond simply the end goal of, “just get the content out there”. Thankfully, web designers are starting to rebel at this fallacy of content management and production. The goal is not just to get the information posted. It is not enough just to get the content out there and draw clicks. The goal now is to provide an experience.