Adapting to Changing Technology

The tools that we use to communicate have changed over time. Much of our work was manual and analog. As graphic designers, we were engaged in a creative process that evolved from pencils, pens, rapidographs and rubylith to fonts, software and hardware to CMYK printing, foil stamping, stochastic screens and paper stocks. The breadth and depth of resources required for competence in the practice of design and communications grows as technology progresses.

Designers now collaborate with teams of business leaders, entrepreneurs, marketers, researchers, content strategists, and developers to build web applications, and digital products using lean startup principles, agile methodology, behaviour-driven development, and usability testing. We have experienced revolutions from the web standards movement, to the responsive web design movement, to the recognition of design as a primary driver in developing trust and brand recognition as user experience research drives the direction of product design and innovation for businesses. We have come to recognize that, whatever business or service is being offered, every individual in the organization is part of designing the systems that embody the culture. People support the effort to build tools and systems that meet human, technical, and business needs with their time, energy, and resources.

To recognize the opportunities that arise from the adjacent possible, we must understand first what tools and technologies are available to make the most of the available opportunities, given those possibilities.