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Nathan Wells

January 22, 2017

Design Diplomacy

We recently concluded a long term project for the United Nations. This was perhaps one of the funnest projects our team got to done this past year. The project was to redesign their website. Simple enough right? Well we soon learned there were many unique situations the UN had to accommodate for. Whether it was the 193 sub-website scenario that each country has within the UN, or the various language formats included within their site, or the global and political impact of the UN’s outreach; we quickly found there was a lot to consider.

The littlest detail could be met with ramifications that might seem trivial from a drawing board perspective but that mean large scale change across a network of nations around the world. We didn’t take this responsibility lightly.

Research and dialog was highly important. We met with various committees and members of the United Nations before even putting pen to paper. Consider this our first step to designing diplomacy. Listening and learning were instrumentally vital to the success of this project. We didn’t want to present something that didn’t consider all the little details.

After our first two hour meeting of initial concept design pitch to a committee that seemed to have different perspectives and thoughts collectively than any one single thought, the phrase that broke the silence after our presentation was, “Wow, you guys really seemed to understand us and get a feel for who we are better than perhaps we even know ourselves.”

This embarked a conversation of questions on their part to seek insight into our process, to which we echoed the words, the notes, the pages, the facts that we both heard, discovered and learned through our research. This was the first step to building a foundation of trust and relationship with a Global leader as a client. After it everything was said and done, we learned that the first key to design diplomacy is to listen.

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Nathan Wells

KNIFE AND FOX

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