Without creativity, you have nothing.
Joni Huttunen is a project leader and coordinator who works a lot with Animated Quick Guides. But instead of writing a Semcon Story about that, he wanted to share why creativity is key when producing visual content and how to embrace creative ideas.
“Good ideas don’t come out of a boardroom, do they?” That quote is from the excellent TV series Halt and Catch Fire. I’m not saying a good idea has never come from a boardroom, but there is something in the quote worth thinking about. I will come back to that.
This contribution to Semcon Stories was first meant to be about highlighting our concept for Animated Quick Guides. A text about not falling behind when it comes to creating visual and moving content. But that would have been too obvious an angle! All of us working with digital solutions already know that users today are so used to consuming – and creating their own – visual content that it is a no brainer not providing them it.
Bring in more creativity
When writing this text, I realized that we not only need to focus on creating more visual content, but more importantly: if we want to create visual content that is matched to fit the user’s needs and that also stands out and engages, we need to make sure we bring creativity into our work.
Coming from a background of directing film, playing music and writing novels, I know that without the creativity involved, you have nothing.
Connecting the logical and the creative
Logical thinking, coding skills, solid information architecture and other abilities based on structured thinking are very important ingredients when creating digital deliverables appreciated by customers and their end users. We need all these abilities to serve and feed the computers with the data they love. However, to truly engage and connect with the users, we also need the layers filled with visually appealing, alive, and eye-catching qualities that make the users feel something. For this, the logical brains need to work together with the artistic ones.
In the animation area, we compete with film production companies with highly skilled directors specialized in producing moving content for digital platforms. If we want to succeed in that competition, we should bring real artistic, creative skills into our projects too.
Creative ideas need processing time
Back to the boardroom. Great ideas come when you least expect it (almost never in the boardroom). It might start with a discussion in the boardroom, but then, all of a sudden, when you are out walking, in the middle of something else, or right before you fall asleep, that perfect idea of how to solve an issue pops up! Out of nowhere. An unexpected moment of inspiration and enlightenment. That’s how creativity works. And creative ideas need processing time. This isn’t breaking news, obviously. But still, it’s worth keeping in mind in projects where innovation is a main key to success.
All ideas have something
Everyone in the team should be encouraged to express their ideas. Very often the most unexpected and innovative ideas come from people in the group who don’t usually get to speak, or who for some reason hesitate to speak. Never censor or dismiss ideas in the beginning of a project. I believe that all ideas have something, however crazy they first seem. Spit the ideas out and let the budgets and reality and deadlines filter out later what is not possible to realize. Encouraging the team to always express their ideas will pay off in the long run.
And, instead of locking yourself and your team into a boardroom, have a coffee with your colleague at a different place than you normally do, go for a walk, exercise, do something completely different to break the everyday pattern that often has an inhibitory effect on creative thinking.
Well, enough said about creativity. Now I’ll go for a fika and I’m pretty sure that will help me solve the tricky storyboarding problem that has been bugging me for a couple of days now.
Learn more about AQG’s here.
Title: Project Leader & Coordinator – Graphics & Animation
Education: Media and Communication Science (Linnaeus University), Directing film (Institute for Higher TV Education – IHTV)
Worked at Semcon since: 2015
I have most fun at work: when solving problems together with my fantastic colleagues. Preferably over a good old Swedish fika.
About Semcon Stories
A series of articles for everyone wondering what it’s like to work at Semcon. With Semcon Stories our employees get to highlight certain exciting aspects of their jobs.