Have you ever gone snorkeling? Any time I strap on the goggles and snorkel and dip my head beneath the surface of the water, I’m breathless (even after I get used to breathing through a tiny pipe ;) ). Water looks fairly ordinary above the surface, but once you look beneath the surface, you discover an entirely new world teeming with life and hidden treasures.
We often cruise through our day seeing things at only the surface level. We encounter so much information in a day, that we can hardly be blamed for trying to remain on the surface most of the time. But the life and excitement is often just below the surface.
Today a co-worker introduced me to the work of graphic designer Joshua Davis. In this video you can see how his curiosity with the microscopic uniqueness of plant life fuel his designs. (Showing us that inspiration occurs when we stop to smell the roses. You know, really get our noses in there and look around).
This curiosity also fuels great interaction design. A talented designer knows how to ask questions that get below the surface of a problem to help solve the problem that happening beneath the surface of a user’s experience.
“The simple things are also the most extraordinary things, and only the wise can see them.” – Paul Coelho
Maybe we could learn more from children, with their incessant questions of “why”. We get too comfortable with acting smart and respectable. What would happen if we asked more questions?
Maybe we’d discover a world teeming with life just below the surface.