Creating digital products from a shared vision of the future, through design, science and technology.
A company creating digital products for the future needs to approach the task with a completely new set of tools. It needs to break away from systems of the past, reliant on structured methods. It needs to embrace an attitude, a mentality for progression, or an ethos that captures the spirit of a shared vision for the world of tomorrow.
Today most of us have an idea of how the future may look, and some of us know when specific innovations might start changing the game. There are those that fear the inevitable progression and its consequences; there are those that immerse themselves deep into the infinite possibilities; but there are also some, who are clear about which of the many paths we’ll follow into the future. That path is one which is focused and has no room for technology’s ego, leading to a destination where Information Technology as we know it is nothing more than a foundation for design-led, science-driven solutions that each and every one of us will rely on.
We believe that future digital products and services are created by merging human-centric design, data science and technology. Creating the perfect blend with which to service the future of humankind, that thrive on the skills of multidisciplinary teams. Cross-functional collaborations lend themselves as a new way of working to our core ideology. The realisation of where we need to go as a creator of digital products, and more importantly where we shouldn’t even consider going, runs in line with some the world’s current innovators.
One of these innovators is Pedro Gomes, managing creative director of Pedro Gomes Designs (currently rebranding), board member at the National Association of Design in Portugal and lecturer at Porto Business School; he shares our way of thinking. Also involved with the Estonian Design Centre as senior design manager, Gomes has built his brand on the need to take a holistic approach to design. Heading up a team of 13-20 people at the forefront of radical design thinking, his mission is to redefine design as human-centric and driven by holistic values; a mission that we at Proekspert can relate to.
To fully understand the direction of this thinking, a simple reference to the English dictionary can help. The definition of holistic is, ‘characterised by the belief that the parts of something are intimately interconnected and explicable only by reference to the whole.’ Something which is very often forgotten throughout design and problem-solving processes. The awareness that every aspect of something is as important as the next can influence the design process in a positive way.
When addressing a client’s needs we need to ask questions, it’s the fundamental basis of any project; we need to understand the problem completely. Holistic in the medical sense lends even greater relevance: ‘the treatment of the whole person, taking into account mental and social factors, rather than just the symptoms of a disease.’ That series of questions or initial workshops gives us the opportunity to understand the client, their issues and their goals. Through the use of data science, and with this deeper understanding of the task, we can build a technology-based solution that caters for the clients as a whole entity, as we might for an individual – a human-centred solution to what is inevitably a human issue within an organisation or team.
Gomes takes the same approach with his design projects, many of which are socially relevant. He explained to us his notion of ‘radical change’ in design, stating that it’s, “when design shifts from an aesthetic or functional exercise to a strategic creative process used as a tool for holistic business innovation, with measurable impact.” In short, he considers every aspect of the design. He draws upon research, data and client feedback; he considers the end user from the very start of each project, and he strives for both impact with social meaning and impact within an industry. This facilitates a leap forward in the areas his project is related, and critically, in areas that will indirectly benefit: the whole picture, the holistic approach.
The values we share don’t end there. Our commitment to immerse ourselves in the worlds of our clients has and always will be paramount, with a homogenised team in terms of both discipline and position free to blend into clients’ teams efficiently and without complications. Gomes also believes that you must become consumed by a project. Live it, breathe it; understand it on a whole new level. Only then can you provide a relevant and innocently human solution: “Live the journey, tell their story,“ says Gomes.
The future of digital product creation takes its cues from this way of thinking. Following a mindset rather than a methodology. A strategic approach led by the essence of the task, guided by data science and never forgetting that human focus. Remembering there’ll be someone just like us at the end of the process, relying on this solution to simply work. Technology is here for us to take away the monotony, to carry the burden of a task, to fade into the shadows unnoticed so that we can get on with the what’s really important: just being human.