Are We Still Innovating?
Are We Still Innovating?

Are We Still Innovating?

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If it hasn’t dawned on you yet, over the last few years the world was forced to go digital or die trying. The ability to continue innovating is dwindling. Personally, we have never been busier within the digital creative space than we are right now – both as design creatives and developers. As more and more businesses find themselves in unchartered waters, we started realising that we are applying the same/similar creative solutions to multiple digital migrations. Suddenly, it struck us… Are we creatively fatigued? Are we running out of juices? Are we still innovating?

Innovating vs Reinventing

In the age of innovation, you may be hard-pressed to find a truly original idea – both digitally and otherwise. Unfortunately, in a solution-driven industry, we often find ourselves doing research on previously applied design and business solutions to assist our clients as much as possible (without reinventing the wheel). After all, we live by the motto “work smarter, not harder”. And sometimes the research and ideas we discover end up sticking, and we simply apply them without thinking “how else can this be done so that it’s still original”.

The more we started asking around about this, the more we realised from our peers that this seems to be a norm. And whilst we all endeavour to create something truly unique for each and every use-case scenario, designers and developers DO NOT build for the exception, we build for the rule within practical timelines and budgets. And that’s the truth! So again, as an industry, are we still innovating?

How does scope affect the capacity to innovate?

Several things have to be considered when you’re putting a proposal together for a client:

  • Scope of the Project
  • Client’s Budget (as unrealistic as these sometimes are)
  • Research & Development
  • Project Milestones and Deadlines
  • Resources Required (Both financial and human resources)
  • Practical Applications to remain within Scope & Budget
  • Post-Deployment Snags & Fixes

Due to all of the above, we often have to limit the number of resources we have to exhaust, simply because the timelines are tight or the budgets are restrictive. And once that happens, you eventually choose the road that’s easiest. That’s not to say the work you present is not remarkable, innovative or meets the requirements of the brief. It simply means that the “blue-sky scenario” we may have wanted for outstanding innovation was cut short – and alas, another miscarriage of creativity that another agency has to contend with.

If 2020 has taught us anything, aside from some real health and socio-political lessons, it is that as we move forward towards a new digital frontier, we simply have to try harder to innovate and apply creative solutions.

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