Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Where is November?

Designers are mostly right-brained people, visually and spatially oriented. Indeed, one of my curbstone tests for potential design talent is to ask, "Where is November?" When my listener is puzzled, I elaborate, "Do you have a spatial mental model of the calendar? Many folks do. If you do, would you describe it to me?" The strong candidates almost always have one, the models themselves vary wildly.

The Design of Design, Fred Brooks
OMG! I have one of those but I never thought too much about it before. My calendar starts to my left with March, proceeds down through April and May. Then it turns to the right and runs horizontally through November, passing in front of me around August. Then December starts to droop and January and February make a turn downward.

Does anyone else have a secret mental image of the calendar? If designers typically do, what unexpected mental traits do theologians, musicians or literary critics share?

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