A great designer doesn’t seek to impress. A brilliant designer doesn’t inspire to win awards. The hallmark of a good designer is to solve problems, because they know deep down, designing is providing solutions to existing problems.
We may not know it, designers may not look at themselves that way, but it has always been, and will always remain this way.
More than just looking good
Design is more than just aesthetics, it goes beyond the superficial. It is not just about producing beautiful work. At the heart of every good design is the desire to provide a solution to a need, a problem.
YouTube are booming because we want to have more control over what we watch. Minimalistic sites are getting more prominent because we are sicked of over cluttered designs. Tablets are gaining traction because we want greater interaction between ourselves and the device. Wireless was invented because we don’t want to be restricted by wires.
We don’t design because we want change. We don’t demand changes just for the sake of changing. Designers need to have a clear vision that the newer design will be better than the current one.
Take a leaf out of Apple
Why seek to change something when it doesn’t improve on the current one? Apple didn’t reinvent the wheel with the launch of iphone 5. Aesthetically, the difference is subtle. It’s a little longer, a little thinner, a little lighter. That’s about it. Fans and critics were skeptical about it, citing that there wasn’t any major changes. Many were disappointed.
An apple’s executive said they don’t just roll out a new product, they want to make a better product. If Apple were to make radical changes and roll out a 5-inch screen, the world is going to stand up and take note. It will satisfy the public’s demand for major overhaul, but will it be a better product?
Then came launch day, and the long queues were as anticipated – Long. Those who got their hands on the handset are suitably impressed. The same critics and fans who were disappointed are now raving about the it, some claiming it’s the best phone by Apple yet.
Understand the rationale behind every design
To deliver a solution that holds real value we need a deep understanding of the issues and have a clear vision on how to tackle them. Apple recognize the need for bigger screen, for the phone to be thinner and lighter.
The screen is now bigger, but it doesn’t compromise on the one-hand operation people are used to. The phone is now thinner and lighter so you can chunk it into your pocket without much issue. In the hands of many consumers, the phone feels just “right”.
When it comes to design, it’s about the entire user experience. Beauty without form and functionality is like Ferrari body with a Cherry engine. Everything needs to be in harmony to achieve a fine balance.