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6 posts tagged good design

How Much Design Is Too Much Design?

Khoi has made some great observations in this article, but I disagree with the overall premise. One thing we don’t talk enough about as designers is the difference between design, holistically, and visual treatment. A gorgeous button and “managed” pixels are part of the visual treatment. But that doesn’t actually make the page or app well-designed. We don’t like admitting this to ourselves because it means that we have to admit that things like Gmail, are, on some importantly-functional level, very well (or at least, adequately) designed.

The ability to make something pretty is not the same as the ability to design it well unless the only goal is to make the thing pretty.

The New Design

(emphasis mine)

I agree with Naz, but I’m perplexed as to the label. Why is it “New” design? Isn’t this just design? Hasn’t this always been what a good designer is, well, good at? I’m not picking on him directly either, because I can see why this seems like a revelation. I remember, as a much younger designer (I’d still like to consider myself young, if you’ll grant me that), having to fight for involvement in strategy or surprising clients and coworkers when I showed a bit of business acumen and understanding of the task at hand outside of the purview of just making it “pretty”—and this was long before my main workload was comprised of web and software applications. If we’re not solving problems, what are we doing? What have we been doing?

Lilly’s Table: Delicious Meal Planning/Recipe Site

People get it, and they’re willing to pay for it. This is exactly the type of response we wanted from people as Lilly and I originally started talking about Lilly’s Table. It’s exciting to see others join on.

Design early. Earlier than that.

I’d like to think we’re starting to see a shift in the startup world toward valuing design more, but we’re not there yet. It’s still too easy for a founder to think of design as the paint on the already-built building. I get inquiries like this from founders all the time. Sure, they don’t say it explicitly, but they’re telling me that design is an afterthought to them. If we’re going to keep the paradigm of CXO titles, I’d love to see more companies hire a CDO (Chief Design Officer) and actually mean it. And I’d love to see more startups seek out a designer as part of their founding team, and give them equal footing alongside their technical brethren.

Good design in ten commandments.

by Dieter Rams

  1. Good design is innovative
  2. Good design makes a product useful
  3. Good design is aesthetic
  4. Good design helps a product to be understood
  5. Good design is unobtrusive
  6. Good design is honest
  7. Good design is durable
  8. Good design is thorough to the last detail
  9. Good design is concerned with the environment
  10. Good design is as little design as possible

(via Daring Fireball)

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