Every person you encounter throughout your day, every personality type, has blinders, shadow behaviors, gaps in their capabilities. Call it what you will, these exist in everyone. The design world is not exempt and I sat down with Paul Martens, founder of CORA and author of The Motivated Life, to discuss this and more.
In 'The Motivated Life', Martens talks about a five-type system of design personalities with which designers can recognize their areas of expertise as well as their personality gaps. This thoughtful design theory shows us where our strengths are and also helps to point out weaknesses.
5 Core Types of Design Personalities
Type One: Direction, designed to market oneself
Type Two: Beauty, designed to please
Type Three: Innovation, designed for popularity
Type Four: Entertainment, designed to entertain
Type Five: Efficiency, designed for clarity
If you are thinking you might fall into the Type One category, you would find yourself among company such as Pharrell Williams, Gwyneth Paltrow, or perhaps Beyoncé. Type Two tends to be the most common design personality we see and a few famous examples would be Martha Stewart or Alexander McQueen. Type Threes are innovative and creative artists like Madonna or George Lucas. If you find yourself relating to likes of Walt Disney you just might be a Type Four. Finally, Type Fives quest for clarity and efficiency is exactly what Steve Jobs built the Apple Empire upon.
What exactly is Thoughtful Design?
Thoughtful design is all about consciousness and being aware of who you are. Every personality type has blinders. So you can have a really strong personality type but that alone doesn't absolve you from these gaps.
At your core you are always one type but how you relate to yourself and others along with conditioning through your parents and environment provides you with a secondary subset of traits you rely on. It is absolutely true that we cannot all be good at everything. Filling those gaps is key to your success. This prevents design or business tasks, and key components of your business from falling through the cracks. Awareness, from this aspect, serves us well in a number of different ways.
Technology, Design, and Types
It's easier to downplay information like this than it is to stare it in the face and seek out solutions and habits that drive forward better design.
"To design well you must recognize your gaps. To continue designing well, you must build teams with strengths representative of your own gaps."
This five type system predicted the market crash from a macro level. Martens was able to see the 2009 crash two years out and identify the future peak before the crash within 200 points. Using the five type system allowed insight into the entering of the age of Steve Jobs, where efficiency rules.
Martens also points out that being in-tune on both a micro, as well as a macro level has allowed him recognize his own gaps and in-turn create his app, CORA. Looking into the future, Martens has big plans for this startup. He has an eye on VoIP, messaging, files and file transfers. Basically all methods of communication that change the way we interact as personalities.