Mar 28, 2024

The best designers are quick to zoom out

Creator of Dive

Design leader at Vine, Coinbase, IG

Imagine it's the final interview round for your dream role.

You approach the white board awaiting your prompt...

“How would you design a better ATM experience?”

Hmm… ok, you got this.

Maybe you start by reimagining the launch screen or mapping common quick deposit flows. For a moment you imagine the scalability of staking out your local Chase to interview people about their ATM experience.

Pause ✋

By jumping straight to the ATM you're establishing a small solution space.

The best designers are quick to zoom out and see the bigger picture.

🔍 Problem selection > problem solving

​Rich Arnold told me how his friend responded to this ATM prompt while interviewing at Coinbase and I can't stop thinking about it...

Instead of ideating within the solution space of the ATM, she identified a bigger, more interesting opportunity:

“HMW make it easier to find and access ATMs?”

Her solution was to allow anyone to scan a QR code to borrow money from local businesses and bodegas.

Now I know what you’re thinking…

"How the heck would the underlying money lending system work?”

I have no idea lol. But that’s not the point…

The takeaway is that she zoomed out and demonstrated an ability to solve problems creatively. And THAT is a trait that gets you hired 💪

One of the things that Soleio said that really stuck with me was:

“Problem selection is all the more important than problem solving as a designer” - Soleio

If you don’t zoom out far enough you might enter into execution mode too quickly and miss the real problem.

In the future, execution will become increasingly replaceable.

Creative problem solving will not.

So if there’s one takeaway from this article it’s this 👇

Make it your knee-jerk reaction to zoom out.

🧠 Becoming a creative problem solver

Remember the looping video app Vine? Of course you do.

Well Rich Arnold was the Head of Design at Vine before joining as an early member of the Instagram Stories team.

I asked to talk to him as a way to learn more about designing consumer experiences, but it turned into a masterclass in storytelling and creative problem solving.

There's a lot more in addition to the ATM story :)

Listen on Youtube, Spotify, Apple, or wherever you get your podcasts 👇

Imagine it's the final interview round for your dream role.

You approach the white board awaiting your prompt...

“How would you design a better ATM experience?”

Hmm… ok, you got this.

Maybe you start by reimagining the launch screen or mapping common quick deposit flows. For a moment you imagine the scalability of staking out your local Chase to interview people about their ATM experience.

Pause ✋

By jumping straight to the ATM you're establishing a small solution space.

The best designers are quick to zoom out and see the bigger picture.

🔍 Problem selection > problem solving

​Rich Arnold told me how his friend responded to this ATM prompt while interviewing at Coinbase and I can't stop thinking about it...

Instead of ideating within the solution space of the ATM, she identified a bigger, more interesting opportunity:

“HMW make it easier to find and access ATMs?”

Her solution was to allow anyone to scan a QR code to borrow money from local businesses and bodegas.

Now I know what you’re thinking…

"How the heck would the underlying money lending system work?”

I have no idea lol. But that’s not the point…

The takeaway is that she zoomed out and demonstrated an ability to solve problems creatively. And THAT is a trait that gets you hired 💪

One of the things that Soleio said that really stuck with me was:

“Problem selection is all the more important than problem solving as a designer” - Soleio

If you don’t zoom out far enough you might enter into execution mode too quickly and miss the real problem.

In the future, execution will become increasingly replaceable.

Creative problem solving will not.

So if there’s one takeaway from this article it’s this 👇

Make it your knee-jerk reaction to zoom out.

🧠 Becoming a creative problem solver

Remember the looping video app Vine? Of course you do.

Well Rich Arnold was the Head of Design at Vine before joining as an early member of the Instagram Stories team.

I asked to talk to him as a way to learn more about designing consumer experiences, but it turned into a masterclass in storytelling and creative problem solving.

There's a lot more in addition to the ATM story :)

Listen on Youtube, Spotify, Apple, or wherever you get your podcasts 👇

Imagine it's the final interview round for your dream role.

You approach the white board awaiting your prompt...

“How would you design a better ATM experience?”

Hmm… ok, you got this.

Maybe you start by reimagining the launch screen or mapping common quick deposit flows. For a moment you imagine the scalability of staking out your local Chase to interview people about their ATM experience.

Pause ✋

By jumping straight to the ATM you're establishing a small solution space.

The best designers are quick to zoom out and see the bigger picture.

🔍 Problem selection > problem solving

​Rich Arnold told me how his friend responded to this ATM prompt while interviewing at Coinbase and I can't stop thinking about it...

Instead of ideating within the solution space of the ATM, she identified a bigger, more interesting opportunity:

“HMW make it easier to find and access ATMs?”

Her solution was to allow anyone to scan a QR code to borrow money from local businesses and bodegas.

Now I know what you’re thinking…

"How the heck would the underlying money lending system work?”

I have no idea lol. But that’s not the point…

The takeaway is that she zoomed out and demonstrated an ability to solve problems creatively. And THAT is a trait that gets you hired 💪

One of the things that Soleio said that really stuck with me was:

“Problem selection is all the more important than problem solving as a designer” - Soleio

If you don’t zoom out far enough you might enter into execution mode too quickly and miss the real problem.

In the future, execution will become increasingly replaceable.

Creative problem solving will not.

So if there’s one takeaway from this article it’s this 👇

Make it your knee-jerk reaction to zoom out.

🧠 Becoming a creative problem solver

Remember the looping video app Vine? Of course you do.

Well Rich Arnold was the Head of Design at Vine before joining as an early member of the Instagram Stories team.

I asked to talk to him as a way to learn more about designing consumer experiences, but it turned into a masterclass in storytelling and creative problem solving.

There's a lot more in addition to the ATM story :)

Listen on Youtube, Spotify, Apple, or wherever you get your podcasts 👇

Join 10,000+ designers

Get our weekly breakdowns

"There's no doubt that Dive has made me a better designer"

@ned_ray

Join 10,000+ designers

Get our weekly breakdowns

"There's no doubt that Dive has made me a better designer"

@ned_ray

Join 10,000+ designers

Get our weekly breakdowns

"There's no doubt that Dive has made me a better designer"

@ned_ray

"

I've been binging Dive Club lately and the quality is nuts

Literally the only show about design I watch”

Eugene Fedorenko

"

I've been binging Dive Club lately and the quality is nuts

Literally the only show about design I watch”

Eugene Fedorenko

hello@dive.club

Ⓒ Dive 2024