A mere 18 months ago, if you’d told me I’d now be spending 23.81% of my life (or 20.83% if we had a nap room) working for a bank, I’d have probably laughed hysterically, whilst secretly wondering a) why they let me through the door and b) how much my financial prowess had improved.
However, here I am, high up in the Deloitte tower, gazing out over the concrete jungle that is Auckland. Sometimes I like to imagine a drunk unicorn riding a rainbow past my window, or the giant marshmallow man from Ghostbusters smashing his way through office blocks towards me.
You might think that’s weird, and it probably is, but imagination and creativity are integral parts of what we do here at BNZ digital. Yes, there are limitations when writing content for a large, corporate organisation, but that’s where the fun and creativity comes to the party.
As digital content people, we have such a huge responsibility to our customers. In an ever-overwhelming digital world, we are increasingly time poor, impatient and frustrated. If a digital interface doesn’t perform the way we think it should, a piece of copy doesn’t make sense or an image is misleading, we will rarely afford the perpetrator the opportunity to rectify the situation.
Down the yellow brick road
As a digital content creator, if the customer is distracted from their journey, I haven’t done my job properly. As a customer, this infuriates me. Unfortunately, we’re human, and sometimes we don’t get it right. What I love about being a part of BNZ digital is that we’re always trying to improve what we say and how we say it, because the customer is our lifeblood. The work never ends, because digital is constantly evolving; and as such, so are we.
I read an interesting article the other day by Gerry McGovern, and the message that stood out to me the most was this: “Physical is built with stone, wood and glass. The most essential building blocks of digital are words. Information and technical architecture is judged by its speed and ease of use.”
When we create content, we are creating a journey. We are creating those essential building blocks. If there’s a block missing, the whole thing falls down, much like how I imagine Trump’s administration will fare after the rest of the wall realises the block representing rationality is adrift in a black hole.
This design, is my design
In this article, Jared Spool talks about the official and unofficial designers;
“When someone influences the experience of the user, they, in that moment, become a user experience designer. Their influence may not be positive. Their knowledge of UX design principles may be small, even non-existent. Yet, because they affect the experience of the user, they are a designer, albeit an unofficial one.”
It seems to me like there’s a never ending battle between unofficial and official designers when creating content. What I’ve learnt over my 10 months working in the BNZ digital team is that there shouldn’t really be any battle at all, because aren’t we all working towards the same end goal? The earlier that different minds with unique skills and thought patterns are engaged together, the more solid the house will be that is formed from these vital building blocks.
Success to me is creating something of value off the back of team work and collaboration. Something that makes at least one person’s life a little bit better, or a little bit easier. I’m lucky to have that opportunity as a content creator.
I’ll leave you with this pearl of wisdom; if in doubt, literally jazz hands it. It’ll almost always distract someone until you’ve figured out the best solution to your problem. You’ll get sore hands, but you get that on the big jobs.★