Superdry is an achingly trendy brand at the moment: i know this because all the cool kids are wearing it. And half of my friends. In a fit of Christmas shopping enthusiasm, i ventured into the store over the weekend to get some presents and confronted my greatest fashion weakness: i have no idea what ‘goes‘.
Had you been in Superdry this weekend, you would have seen something like this: a surreptitious figure, skulking around near the back, clutching a blue checked shirt, a white gillet and a knitted hat, holding them up in various poses and combinations, squinting slightly, casting sideways looks at the twenty something couples for inspiration. Your conclusion would have been either (a) inept shoplifter or (b) out of demographic.
My problem is that i buy in isolation, but i wear in outfits. I buy a shirt i like, some shoes i like, a hat, but always by themselves, i never stop to think ‘what does this go with?‘. I don’t buy outfits. My failure to coordinate means that i always dress as though i’ve just picked up what came to hand. I don’t stand back and look in the mirror.
When it comes to learning, it’s easy to get the same uncoordinated look: picking and choosing things that are cool, things that look nice by themselves, but, when joined together, somehow fail to achieve more than the sum of the parts. We can have amazing video, great graphics, perfect scripts and innovative animations, but unless there is a coherence to the story, a unity of message and some really good editing, we just have a mess.
You have to find your fashion: in my case, by asking someone (not usually the shop assistant weighted down by hair gel, but rather someone close to my demographic with nice shoes). When it comes to designing a learning experience, we have to draw upon an underlying learning methodology, our experience and the benefits of piloting and testing. We have to look in the mirror.
It’s easy to create something that looks good, that has high production values, but much harder to create something with unity, a coherent piece of learning, one that tells a story effectively.