Creative Mornings at Doejo featuring Sara Frisk of IDEO

Last Friday we had the privilege of hosting the Chicago chapter of Creative Mornings. Creative Mornings is a global monthly gathering of creative types founded by Tina Roth Eisenberg. Eisnberg also runs design blog swissmiss and co-working space Studiomates in New York.

Sara Frisk, Portfolio Lead at IDEO Chicago, spoke at this months lecture. Frisk began her talk by recounting the history of IDEO and how experience design, rapid prototyping and multi-disciplinary collaboration have played an important role in the brands rapid rise to success.

Frisk joined IDEO in 2005 after a stint at Pentagram in New York. In the seven years she has been a team member there, she has learned to love the Chicago design community for its collaborate, non-competitive nature.

Here are a few lessons related to the world of graphic design that Frisk shared with the sold out audience:

1. “Good design is not about having good clients – it’s about having good relationships,” Frisk said. She explained how at IDEO they believe wholeheartedly in behavioral segments, not market segments. This belief often surprises clients and has an interesting effect on their business, forcing them to confront clients with things they do not want to hear. To overcome this and create strong relationships with their clients, the team at IDEO only proposes ideas they wholeheartedly believe in.

2. “You have impact in every situation whether it is intentional or not,” Frisk said. When trying to win over a client remember that only 7% of your impact is verbal—this means that body language and facial expressions make a huge impact on relationships. Frisk than explained how one of her biggest struggles in the workplace has been overcoming her “unapproachable default face.” Positive communication through verbal and non-verbal signals is another way to create strong client relationships.

3. Frisk encouraged the audience to be committed to their field. “Design is not a profession – it is an identity. It is about your curiosity and your passion to solve problems,” she said.