On my first day at Made by Many I sat down at my desk to find a welcome pack. It included pens, notebooks, post-it notes, a new MacBook, and a collection of stickers. On one sticker, the words Learn, Make, Test.
During my first week I was shown case studies, workshops, and tools and techniques about Made by Many. The statement Learn, Make, Test made several appearances. This resonated with me particularly because it distilled the very essence of user-centred design into a simple and memorable process.
In a previous agency I was given countless opportunities to write a company design process and ethos. It was (and always will be) a hard task. Every time we’d put the slide into a presentation we’d either tweak it, drastically re-write it, or get so frustrated that we’d leave it out all together. I’m sure countless other agencies have done the same.
The more we tweaked and re-wrote our process, the more we would lose sight of why were trying to communicate it. In hindsight, I now realise that the point to having a statement of this kind, be it a mantra, an ethos, a process, whatever you want to call it, is to have a shared belief that every team member should live by.
Alas, no matter how well crafted the words are, if they can only be found in a PDF in a folder, deep in a server, they’re no good to anyone. They should be on a plaque on the wall, a sign on the door, a t-shirt, a poster, a tote bag, a mug, a sticker. Permanent and physical artefacts that live within the shared environment, visible to the people they matter most to, the team.
The Learn, Make, Test stickers at Made by Many can be found affixed to laptops and notepads. Converted like my teammates before me and keen to affirm my belief in the Made by Many way, I stuck mine to the lid of my MacBook and every morning before I turn it on I’m reminded why I’m there.