The good people of 37signals published a wonderful Director’s Commentary a couple of weeks ago in the form of a post called "Basecamp help". What’s a Director’s Commentary? It’s the voice over track on a DVD where the director explains everything that was going on when he shot a scene. They exist in the world of design thinking, too, as I wrote a while back:
Wouldn’t it be great if, in a similar fashion, we could hear and see
great designers talking about their craft? When I was a practicing
engineer designing tangible things, there were tens, even hundreds of
details embedded in my designs which I knew about, maybe the rest of my
team knew about, but which were essentially invisible to the world at
large. Which is fine; it isn’t the job of end users to be thinking
about the kinds of details and decisions that interest a professional
design thinker. But for students in training, and for other
professionals, what better way to truly appreciate the enormity of the
task of design than to take a walkthrough around a real design with
another real, living designer?
In his post, I admire the way Jason walks us through all the details that go into even a minor rework of a software interface item. In general, stuff from 37signals works really well, and it’s not due to luck or the alignment of the planets. They’re talented designers who sweat the small stuff.
funny enough, we’re in the concepting stages of this very same idea. think of it as a “making of” site filled with content you’d find on dvd’s.
the best thing about it is it makes people view designers as creative thinkers and problem solvers instead of stylists.