An Animation Story

A simple love story between a girl named Design and a boy named Animation. Adam created, narrated, and presented this story to a group of developers at Solstice in order to talk about the importance of having a “design-gineering” mindset.


Once upon a time...
There was a girl named Design.
Ahh, but you see, Design was not happy.
She had just had her heart broken.
Long story short, some boy named Engineering...well it just didn't work out.
Design sat alone, crying, unsure of what was next.
She felt motionless; time escaped her.

One day, while sitting down under a tree...
a boy came up to Design.
"Hi! What's your name?", he said.
"Uhh, hi, my name is Design"
"Hi Design, my name is Animation!"
The two soon developed a strong connection.
They hung out everyday..talking, sharing ideas, exploring, you name it.
He slowly lit a spark in her heart.
Until one day...
Animation just stopped showing up.
Design was confused and lost. "Is he okay? Where is he?", she pondered.
The days went by...
And by...

Design was standing by the bonfire, when unexpectedly...
Animation finally returned.
"Where have you been!?", Design asked concerningly.
"You just disappeared without saying anything"
"I'm so sorry!", he replied.
"The other day on my way home, I took the wrong path, stumbled, and hit my head"
"I had to go see a doctor for a little while"
"I guess you could say I was lovestruck"
She blushed.
"I have a surprise for you", he said.
"I noticed your swing was broken, so I got some more rope to fix it"
She forgave him, and they proceeded to fix the swing together.

Reconnected they were.
Side by side, the two eased through life together and lived happily ever after.
The end.

Adam’s raw thoughts:

So, what the heck was that all about? And what ever happened to Engineering? Well, this story highlights the Design-Engineering mindset, or rather the lack of. Too often do I see us breaking designers' hearts. It seems implementing a design exactly as it was created often purposes a problem. But instead of solving the problem, we find ways to avoid it. "Oh this increases technical complexity a ton, let's simplify". "Oh this skyrockets our scope, let's do this later" (aka never). Specifically, implementing animations is a common trigger to these excuses.

Why is it so important to not break out designers hearts? In my opinion, a great design tells a story. It invokes emotions and brings character to the product. Animation is one great tool in a designer's tool-belt that brings life to a design. It is a story in of itself - the change of values over time from one point to another. You see, when we find reasons to not fulfill a designer's creation, to not implement their animations, or any other design element for that matter, we are taking the life out of the design. We are stripping it of character and emotion.

What ever happened to Engineering? Perhaps he makes an epic return in Chapter 2. Perhaps not. It is our job as engineers to create Chapter not break our designers hearts. And, so, honestly I don't see the value in sitting here and showing you how to implement animations. Because, I believe, that without a “design-gineering” mindset, we will continue to find excuses not to meet design face to face. I don't think you all need to be as passionate about design or animation as I am, but I think we all have to at least appreciate what it is a designer does, and the impact their designs have on a product.

I encourage everyone to work very closely with your designers. Understand what it is they do everyday, what problems they think about, and what tools they use to solve those problems. The best way to understand a designer is to become one. This, in my opinion, is what the “design-gineering” mindset is all about.