For years, I’ve emphasized that people are the driving force behind my design. As a designer, particularly in branding, clients often request that I “make it good,” and I find this frustrating for several reasons.
Firstly, “good” is highly subjective. What one person may consider good, another may not, resulting in a never-ending cycle of differing opinions. While some may argue that conducting thorough client discovery, in the beginning, may provide a clearer understanding of the client’s definition of “good,” this may not always be the case. Ultimately, companies may become too focused on achieving their desired brand or design look and miss the primary purpose of design, which is to serve people.
People are the reason we design in the first place. Without people, what is the point of design? While there may be some projects that are purely for personal enjoyment, most design is meant to be shared with others. Without people as the central focus, design becomes meaningless squiggles on paper.
Secondly, what is the intended purpose of “good” design? Is it to solely line the pockets of the brand or company, or is it meant to create a positive impact on people’s lives?
Design’s entire purpose is to solve problems. Brand design addresses the issue of brand recognition and awareness, fashion design provides comfortable clothing to cover our bodies, and industrial design creates products that enrich and benefit our lives. At the core of all design, people are the primary focus.
In all my experiences as a creative, I have always advocated for putting people first and business second. People are our most valuable asset, and solving their problems to create enriching and beneficial design is the most honorable pursuit of good design.
Mauro Porcini said it best,
For the good designers of the world, “business revenue” is not a goal, it’s the result of a product well done.
For the good designers of the world, “technology” is not the goal of the innovation process, it’s just the enabler and the amplifier of a meaningful solution to a human issue.
The good designers of the world understand and respect the tech and business communities. They understand how to work in perfect synergy with them to create products, brands, experiences and services that are desirable, viable and feasible. To create solutions that add value to our lives and the entire planet.
The good designers don’t care about “customer satisfaction”: that’s not enough. They want to love their users, and they want to delight them, engage them and surprise them, as they would do with their husbands and wives, with their kids and parents. Their designs are their gift of love to humanity.
The good designers of the world are people in love with people.
So I’ll say this, the day I fall out of love with people, is the day I will cease to be a designer. And if that day comes, I hope it’s my last day on earth.
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