By Rita Saikali, Design Leader

The idealist will tell you to never fall in love with the medium, for it will be ever changing and you will never be completely satisfied with it at any given point. The realist will tell you that he doesn’t care about the medium, because after all, it’s not the message. The pessimist will tell you that the medium is not the message. Finally, the optimist will tell you to embrace the medium! After all, it’s hot, it’s handy, and it’s a fun way to share the message in an over saturated world (wide web). It’s a place you can follow and be followed, and more importantly, a place where you can make connections and build relationships based on common interests, ultimately leading to further inspirations and validation.

Where do you and I fit into the picture? As designers, perhaps we lie somewhere between optimism and idealism—we love visual messages and the evolving mediums for collecting and sharing these messages, as they are both a means of self-expression. We also love connecting with people over our visions and inspiring one another in a creative realm.

Enter Pinterest (in the age of the iPad). Pinterest (the medium), unlike many new and hot social media sites, is a network platform where individuals can collect images (the message) in a left-brain organized manner, on “boards” with titles of their choosing. Each image contains a link to its original home on the web, so if further information or research is desired about the item pinned, it can be accessed easily. True to the rabbit hole that is the internet, where one website can link you to another site which in turn may land you on the slow food movement page, Pinterest acts in the same way—you have access to a network full of intriguing people, boards and pins that may trigger other or new information you may not have considered before.

Why Pinterest? Ultimately, when we describe our visions for a place or space to others, we express them through a visual nature, through sketches or images of preceding projects, products, or concepts. Furthermore, in an environmentally sensible era, we no longer need to print these images. We can simply pull out our iPads (third party mediums to support the message) and scroll through the array of imagery we’ve collected to inspire creativity.

“I like the old way of doing things.” You may argue that it’s easy to simply bookmark or favorite a website of a product’s company to show a client, or maybe even print the images before-hand and create an idea board, or save the images to embed in a PowerPoint presentation. While these are all still very valid options, as we move into a faster, more interactive and flexible world, challenge yourself to embrace new methods of sharing information and your ideas visually through such mediums as Pinterest. It’s in a similar ballpark to the iPad Photos App that Evan Troxel blogged about, in terms of combining imagery and presenting them in an interactive manner, which in turn engages your audience.

I leave you with this… There have been many discussions of late about the various means of sharing information, from Twitter to Facebook, Google+, and now Pinterest. Yes, yet another social media site that you may or may not care to engage. I personally use all these platforms, and in some cases crossover information I wish to share with each network.

If you’re like me—eager to inspire and be inspired, visually driven, love to collect and organize resources, and love to share information in a creative way—then perhaps Pinterest is the right medium for you to share your message with a network of people who will level with you. Happy pinning.