Long-time designer and Creative Director at Little, Kris Lindquist, recently had the opportunity to visit this year’s 99U conference in New York City. Lucky for us, he brought back some pretty great stories and wisdoms.


Interpretation #1:

When was the last time you captured metrics in the form of heartbeats? Have you ever? I wonder how different our creative outputs might be if we were to start measuring their success based on heartbeats rather than sales figures and market gain. Those are inherently important and provide a case for investment, but seem like table stakes once heartbeats are involved. Be inspired to focus on driving flutters rather than driving sales. The former will no doubt lead to a better product, experience and/or design and naturally translate into the latter.


Interpretation #2:

Does it? Really? I guess it depends on your definition of design and whether or not you are talking about design that is meant to make things better versus design that is meant more for window dressing. I would refine this quote to read “authentic design helps us be the best version of ourselves.” Because when we surround ourselves with things and experiences that are authentic and natural extensions of what we like and who we are, they will push us to look at and experience life differently.


Interpretation #3:

Creative agencies are tasked every day to differentiate. And many times do so through a well-thought-out creative approach that leads to an original and ownable visual identity others will so desperately want to copy. But customers can see right through it. Differentiation is not just about looking different. It’s about being different. Or owning something that makes you different. An original product. A unique service or experience. An expertise like no other. Change should be the result of an evolved product, offering or experience, not simply to dress up an outdated brand.


Interpretation #4:

Let’s get one thing straight…the design process is not easy. There are those who can make it look easy, but that’s simply because they’ve put in the hard work and have failed many times along the way. Design is hard and requires iteration and refinement to make it both effective and engaging. It’s a challenging and rewarding process. And I love being in the mix of it every day. That said, I need to remember that there are also times when solutions present themselves more quickly than others. And that’s when I tend to complicate them for no other reason than to feel like I’m adding value when I’m not. Remember, “If it were easy, it would be easy,” and “When it seems easy, don’t f’ing complicate it.”