What is everybody talking about?

As we near our first public discussion in quite a while (FITC conference in Chicago, June 8th), we’ve been homing in on the true essence of Zen Application Development. While Ka Wai and I were wielding the might of our intellectual swords (they’re actually plastic), we hit upon a confusing vein of realization:

What the hell is everybody talking about?

In the average lifetime of a project at your typical interactive agency, there are a dozen or so people who all dip their proverbial thumb in the pie to give their two cents. Be it a creative director, an experience planner, account executive or designer, they all use their brains in different ways to ‘better’ the product of interest. In the course of their ‘betterment’ however, much of the essential idea gets lost in agency jargon, poor verbal skills, or just too damn much off -the-seat-of-the-pants-ness. It’s as if everyone is speaking a different language. This is understandable considering how silo’d most projects are as they go from phase to phase, and how specialized we’ve all become. But it leads to confusion, illness, and occasionally rampant violence in the workplace.

But wait, we’re all working on the same application, right? As architects (creative, technical, application, whatever), we have the power to consolidate and define the language used do describe the “essence” of the application we’re all working on. Now, I’m not talking about calling HTML something else, or saying that .psd’s will now be referred to as “oversized visual binary piles of puke” … no, I’m talking about the project specific entities which every Tom, Dick, and Harry invents a word for (does this sound familiar? “the second sub header in the product detail page”).

So, if you’re asking yourself, “Me, how is it possible to write a language for each project on top of all the other crap I have to do, and why would I do it?” Well, that’s the goal of the Zen Application Development methodology. It’s turned our lives into happy little bunny lives, and we’re happy to share the knowledge with you. Come out and see us, either at FITC in Chicago or at FlashBelt in Minneapolis, or keep an eye on this page for upcoming posts on the subject.