Music is a huge part of our design process. It inspires us, gets us going, and helps on those rough times when we're stuck.
For the second edition of our monthly playlist, I chose my colleague Harel Menachem to get us in the mood with some cheerful tunes. Here’s our interview discussing Harel’s music mindset, and his recommended playlist. Happy listening!
Shai: Hi! Can you introduce yourself?
Harel: I’m Harel Menachem, designer in the Wix studio.
S: That’s very adult of you.
H: That’s me. But hey, at least I’m wearing floral socks.
S: Glad to hear! So you play a lot of music in the studio for everyone to enjoy.
H: That’s true.
S: Are your choices influenced by people’s reactions to what you play?
H: Sure, the moment I see good reactions to certain tracks they’re automatically added to my playlist.
S: How can you tell if people respond positively?
H: There are times when people just tell me, “Wow, this is exactly what I wanted to hear right now.” Other times people get up and dance. 🙂 But for the most part, people just keep working silently - which to me is the ultimate sign that they’re enjoying the music. If I ever play a song and feel some tension or uneasiness in the air, that same moment the song is thrown away to oblivion.
S: That’s very unsnobbish of you.
H: I try. 🙂
S: The majority of the tracks you’ve chosen for your recommended playlist are very well-known and easily recognized. I also usually listen to well-known music while working, that way I know what to expect. It’s very convenient and helps me focus and concentrate.
H: I think most people feel that way.
S: It’s a little surprising that as creative people, our job is to bring something new to the table. Yet we like it when we have something familiar and “old” in the background.
H: I was just thinking about it - should we challenge ourselves musically while we work, or maintain our comfort zone and keep the challenges for our free time?
S: I know that personally, the act of finding new music and exposing myself to it requires a lot of attention, a thing that can interrupt my concentration while working. Especially for the type of work that requires creativity.
H: It’s true… for example, the last album I fell in love with was the new Kid Cudi, which I only listened to at home. I don’t think the act of discovering it and REALLY listening to it could have happened at work.
S: I love the new Kid Cudi too (especially this track). I love the overall vibe, though I think there are a few tracks that should have stayed out, they don’t do justice to the album as a whole.
H: Interesting notion. I’ll have to get back to you with a full report on that one.
S: What other types of music will you not listen to while you work?
H: Can I be specific?
H: Leonard Cohen, rest in peace. An artist I really appreciate, but listening to him while you work just puts you to sleep...
S: Good thing he’s not here to read this.
S: Your choices have a very fun and happy quality to them. Are you most comfortable working in that positive vibe?
H: Yes, I think the vibe you mentioned is definitely there because I want people to enjoy the music, so naturally the chosen tracks are very happy, upbeat and make you smile. 🙂 And now that I think about it, I remember some of the tracks that didn’t make it to the final playlist. They were good but probably without that “good time” vibe.
S: You’re talking like a true DJ.
H: Every office needs one.
S: Would you like to add something before we finish?
H: Yes! Each track in this playlist is a sort of hidden message to people I know and love. I know when they hear their song, they’ll know it’s meant for them. So “Hi” to them through the music!
1. Never Can Say Goodbye - Jackson 5
2. Love is the Message - MFSD
3. Rainbow (ft. Xoli M.) - Black Motion
4. In Common - Alicia Keys
5. Mercy Mercy Me (The Ecology) - Marvin Gaye
6. September - Earth, Wind and Fire
7. Always on My Mind - Pet Shop Boys
8. Would I Lie to You? - Charles & Eddie
9. You Take My Breath Away - The Knife
10. Serenade - Steve Miller Band
11. Always be My Baby - Mariah Carey
12. Right Here (Human Nature Radio Mix) - SWV
13. If I Let You Go (Radio Edit) - Westlife
14. Sweet Lady (Instrumental) - Lady Wray
15. So Far - J. Dilla
16. Sorry - Justin Bieber
17. Pleasure - Justice
Check out the previous edition of "Designed for listening" HERE.
Are you a designer? Feel like participating in this section? If you answered YES to both questions - drop me an e-mail! firstname.lastname@example.org