Good Design is Not a Science
One of the problems of Design Thinking is that it has inherited some of the bad habits of the Business mindset. In particular the need for repeatability and for research data to help justify any design decision the organization makes.
Frog Design’s Ben McAllister has dived into this phenomenon on the reliance of data and research in the business word for an article for The Atlantic, which was reproduced by PSFK.
In the business world, I later learned, “the research” is quite a different phenomenon. As my interview so nicely illustrated, “the research” is not debatable. Apparently it’s capable of predicting people’s reactions to decisions that haven’t even been made yet. In fact, “the research,” seems to be capable of making decisions all on its own.
This simplistic view of research pervades our culture, the business world, and increasingly the world of design. According to this view, “research” is synonymous with science. And since science provides us with hard truths in the physical world, “the research” should do so in the business world. But let the buyer beware of such thinking. The real world is a complex system inhabited by autonomous individuals. It isn’t so simple or knowable, which is exactly why design can be so valuable.
He goes on to rightfully suggest that designers that rely on data to help justify their design decisions or to gain acceptance in the board room, may cheapen their value and lessen the importance of attributes such as “judgment, taste, and creativity”, all hallmarks of a good designer.
Check out the full article at PSFK.