Prototyping isn’t new but it has quietly transformed the digital industry and the way we work for years. At Instrument, that’s reflected in an environment that’s conducive to open conversation: we encourage coming together to think out aloud, and play around with concepts and ideas. We found this key in building stronger relationships with both colleagues and clients.
“It’s about being interested in each others work and creating value between disciplines”, says Justin Gorman, a Creative Director at Instrument. By learning each others languages, we better understand what everyone contributes, and how we can scale collaborative thinking all the way from interactions on the studio floor to progressing our business model.
We are all independent thinkers and creators but we also try to move beyond our egos — in the end, we’re all attempting to create things greater than ourselves — to find commonalities that make problem-solving smoother, explains Instrument co-founder and CEO Justin Lewis: “Prototyping democratizes our work.”
It blurs the lines between traditional work roles; gone are the days of simply leaning on the archetype of the creative director as the final authority. We now rely on each other instead, and are open to making mistakes along the way.
It’s apt to compare prototypes to relationships: both are joint efforts that require attraction, attention, often setbacks, hard work, and ultimately, innovation before they get smoother, more polished and (hopefully) successful.
Prototyping is an integral part of our work with all of our clients. In the case of Nike, a client we’ve worked with for years, it was all about that first spark: we hit it off and then developed a partnership built on communication. We embed with Nike teams, prototype together and collaborate our way to consensus.
Prototyping is all around us and it’s not surprising that the digital world has embraced this flexible way of working. For us, prototyping has become the tool that unlocks the potential for creating great products, and for reaching the goal of creating meaningful work that has positive impact on the world.
At Instrument — and within sections of the digital industry at large — there’s an understanding that we need to create collectively if we want to move beyond simply producing shiny new objects towards creating products and experiences that have deeper meaning in peoples lives.
Prototyping is a fairly simple, yet an immensely effectual method of getting there; by experimenting together, we start to trust each other on a new level — and in the process, we breathe life into the technologies that we’re developing.