The Variegated Masterpiece of Two Intersecting Cyclones

The arts and crafts movement of the late 1800’s and early 1900’s was a direct result of the world-wide shift into the industrial age. It began in Britain and quickly spread through Europe and North America, finally reaching Japan in the 1920s. Many men and women were forced to surrender their livelihood to factories who could produce goods with machines faster and cheaper than they could. But one aspect of any produceable object that no machine can provide is the intimate human touch. Each craftsman leaves a bit of themselves behind in everything they make.

The human touch is what brands and meaningful experiences are made of. We live in a digital era. We can do things and get stuff faster than ever before. That opportunity is a wonderful gift but if it becomes a mindset, can be toxic. At Fluid we believe that to succeed we need to “make things that matter.” If it’s made fast and cheap, then it might as well be a dollar-menu hamburger. It fills the void for a brief moment only to be followed by regret, frustration and disappointment.

If time, expertise and love went into making something then both the consumer and the producer are happy, enlightened and hopefully in a better place because of the interaction. Why can’t we have that experience with everyone we do business with? Every interaction we have in business needs to feel like there is a person, not a machine on the other end of the connection.

At Fluid, when we go to work on a project here is what we keep in mind.

We’re designing for humans.

In the mid 1900’s Maslow created the hierarchy of needs each human needs to live. It’s prioritized from bottom to top with each one building on the other below it. Aarron Walter, makes a similar observation in his book, Designing for Emotion, that website users also have a hierarchy of needs.

It begins with functional at the bottom. That’s easy to understand, what we produce must work. Next comes reliable. It doesn’t need to just work, it needs to keep working. Then comes usable. We don’t want to take a long time trying to figure out how it works. Last is pleasurable. Pleasure is an emotional response. I’ll talk about emotion later on. (Here’s a hint: emotions have a big impact on our memory and trust.)

We need to add personality into our work.

Remember when I said earlier that each business interaction needs to feel like there is a human on the other end of the line? Well how are they supposed to feel that if it feels like they are talking to a robot or a sheet of glass? The copy we write, the content we serve up, the packaging we put on the shelf all needs the human touch. We need to talk to people like they are people. And when we understand our audience, we wont have to use buzz words that make us seem smart or feel like we padded the copy with SEO keywords. It will feel like one guy or gal talking to another. Here is where we show off our brand persona. Is your brand’s persona witty or serious, childlike or extremely knowledgeable? Now is the time to figure that out.

Decisions are made largely upon emotional responses.

The emotional experiences we have hugely impact our memory, especially for the long-term. Molecular biologist John Medina states, “Emotionally charged events persist much longer in our memories and are recalled with greater accuracy than neutral memories.” Each of us can recall TV commercials from our past. Art, design and advertising can and should elicit an emotional response. We build friendships and trust upon it.

Here is where we separate the amateur from the pro. With enough money almost anyone can get you to the moon. The question is, will you enjoy the ride enough to do it again and recommend your friends go as well?

Now your probably wondering “What does this have to do with two intersecting cyclones? Did I just fall for click-bate?” Well, I took a lot of time crafting this headline and now you probably know me a bit better. You may even look for my next blog. And you will remember it.