Time for Designers to get Back to Basics!
Image by Plindberg
I would like to take a moment from my daily grind to share something that I have been considering for a long time now. I seem to be doing a lot of that lately eh?
Fellow designers, we need to start getting back to basics. Forget the all that design thinking fluffy mumbo jumbo and embrace the fundamentals of designing; in particular, elements that give rise to good design or clever products.
This call to action is, in part, a reaction to the recent backlash that design thinking is not doing what it supposed to do. However I think it is more accurate to say this call was instead due to a number of life changing events. Events that gave me a lot of clarity on what design should be and what it meant to me. It is not quite the time to reveal the details of these events, but do stay tuned to Design Sojourn as I will get into the gory details in time to come.
Disillusioned with design? No. Focused and reinvigorated, hell yeah!
After spending a number of years circulating through the different levels of the design process (from execution activities to management and strategy), I find it almost always boils down to one thing: good design trumps everything else.
And how do we go about creating these good designs? Making sure that we are armed with a solid foundation of strong design skills and fundamentals.
In the beginning, more accurately Nov 2005, Design Sojourn was about “How to do Good Design and Create Clever Products”. This site contained, and still does, tons of tips and tricks on how a designer can do his/her job better.
In 2007, I added a third focus called “Mastering the Business of Design” to the end of this original blog description. The description now reads “How to do Good Design, Create Clever Products and Master the Business of Design”. Even though it’s pretty wordy, this new description reflected my personal focus on entrepreneurship, as well as a reflection of the commercial aspects of my design job.
In early 2009, my blog evolved in conjunction with my passion and career move into strategic design. The blog’s Version 4 description became “How to master the business of strategic industrial design.” It made a lot of sense as I have always been a very strategic thinker, and this description brought a lot of clarity to this site and also a reflection to what I do in real life.
By middle 2009, I decided to refine the description to a more succinct and simpler: “The Business of Strategic Industrial Design”. Also at this time, I reformatted all the blog’s categories and made it easier and more logical for readers to find things.
So its now early 2010 and I’m putting myself out there to tell all of you that we have made the discipline of design overly complicated. As a result, I often feel designers get detached from design doing when they get caught up too much in the design process.
To live out this call to action, Design Sojourn goes back to its roots by bringing back its original description and blog theme with a little twist: “Creating Good Designs and Clever Products”!
The reality is that designers with commercial sensitivity, a multi-disciplinary approach and a strategic design process are well equipped with the tools to create what we would call Good Design. As they say, a good strategy is all about getting out there and just doing.
I hope what I’m saying makes sense, and if it does not please do let me know? Regardless, I really hope you have been enjoying my journey in design as much as I have sharing it with you. Looking forward to an awesome golden decade of design with you, dear reader!