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As a Designer - Always Strive to Be More Human™

January 25, 2013

Traditionally designers have been thought of as makers of beautiful things and translators of strategies, but I have always thought this to be a limited view of design. For me, it goes far beyond aesthetics and translating strategies. Design is humanistic, we are creating things that people touch, look at, and listen to. We are shaping people's perceptions of the world...

So, as designers we have a responsibility to create meaningful systems that bring heightened delight to human experiences. This might mean integrating technology and using specific visual treatments, but it starts with human needs and desires.

To accurately articulate those needs and desires, we must have an understanding of social trends, political trends, economic trends, and how they influence one another before we start to think about a solution to a problem.

By starting with an understanding of the context and even allowing yourself to be constrained by the context, you will be able to diagnose problems beyond the brief and develop sustainable solutions that utilize the necessary technologies.

So many times, people ask me why I enjoy designing, and my response is always that my favorite part of website design is solving problems based on human needs. If that calls for a brand logo design, then a brand logo design is my favorite for that particular project. But if it calls for an in-store interactive kiosk, then that’s my favorite project. Either way, my favorite thing to design is an organic solution. When we approach design in this way, even the smallest project can become an opportunity to be innovative.

In my next post I will be talking about design and systems thinking.

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