Why Curiosity is Vital to Creating Great and Diverse Design…

In partnership with Slack, three of the industry’s best designers explored the essentials of their craft in Vitals, today, forever and never.

What are the key ingredients it takes to make great design work, now and in the future? What elements need to be discarded in the process to achieve greatness?

The Webby Awards virtually gathered three of the creative industry’s top designers to answer these questions in a presentation-style event called Vitals: A Design Event About What You Need, hosted in partnership with Slack. Here are 5 takeaways from Barbarian ECD Resh Sidhu, Slack Senior Staff Product Designer Kyle Turman, and BASIC® Senior Designer JP Burcks.

1. VITAL FOREVER: BE CURIOUS. IT WILL HELP YOU SURVIVE

For presenter Resh Sidhu, Executive Creative Director at Barbarian, curiosity has helped her survive, as a person of color and a woman in a male-dominate space. Sidhu also believes that it essential to fostering diversity: “Curious people are open to more diversity and more change,” she said.

2. VITAL TODAY: DESIGN WITH DISRUPTION AS THE LENS 

For presenter JP Burcks, Senior Designer at BASIC®, it’s vital to approach his design to evoke the question, “who let you in?” It’s important to disrupt every aspect of design, citing the Nigeria 2018 World Cup collection and SpaceX as prime examples. According to Burcks, “if you want to take the island, you have to burn the boats.”

If you limit your choices only by what’s reasonable, you disconnect yourself from greatness”

— Resh Sidhu Executive Creative Director / Barbarian

3. FOREVER VITAL: TAKE A STEP BACK 

It’s not hyperbolic to say that today, creatives are working under drastically different conditions. What has helped Kyle Turman, Senior Staff Product Designer at Slack, has been taking a break from work to examine the bigger picture. “Make the most of who is around you,” Turman says, and be intentional about the way you work in order to solve the right problems.

4. NEVER VITAL: CONVENIENCE IS MEDIOCRITY

Part of Sidhu’s ethos is rooted in a belief that “convenience is essentially mediocrity.” The best design work will never come from taking an easy or convenient path. She went further to give creatives advice, noting that “if you limit your choices only by what’s reasonable, you disconnect yourself from greatness.”

5. NEVER VITAL: NEVER BE BORING

A takeaway that all three presenters can agree with is to never be boring while producing work. As Turman said, “no one deserves a boring experience.” It takes leaving ones’ psychological safety net to show up completely, and lean into creating a product or experience that strays from the expected.


For more inspiration, join our Slack workspace for our guests to gain design advice from others and answer questions to our panel of designers.

Plus, RSVP to the next Vitals event on Tuesday, December 8th at 3:00PM EST! 


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