Monthly Archives: March 2009

Good design is in relation to the problem at hand–not obscure, trendy, or stylish

“Good design at least part of the time, includes the criteria of being direct in relation to the problem at hand–not obscure, trendy, or stylish. A new language, visual or verbal, must be couched in a language that is already understood.” - Ivan Chermayeff

“Good design at least part of the time, includes the criteria of being direct in relation to the problem at hand–not obscure, trendy, or stylish. A new language, visual or verbal, must be couched in a language that is already understood.” – Ivan Chermayeff

Ivan’s quote appears in the book Graphic Design in America: A Visual Language History by Mildred Friedman.

To be truly great, designers must think critically and analytically

“To be truly great, we have to understand the motivation of our clients, maintain constant two-way communication with shockingly uncreative people, get a firm handle on copywriting and how that craft exists symbiotically with the visual element, and foresee how the finished whole will be greater than the sum of the bits and pieces we spent hours obsessing over. All of these factors cascade into the final product.” - Kevin Potts

“To be truly great, we have to understand the motivation of our clients, maintain constant two-way communication with shockingly uncreative people, get a firm handle on copywriting and how that craft exists symbiotically with the visual element, and foresee how the finished whole will be greater than the sum of the bits and pieces we spent hours obsessing over. All of these factors cascade into the final product.” – Kevin Potts

Read Kevin’s article “The Details That Matter” for his thoughts on how successful designers think critically and analytically about the details of a project.

Design is not rocket science. It’s social science.

“It’s not rocket science. It’s social science – the science of understanding people’s needs and their unique relationship with art, literature, history, music, work, philosophy, community, technology and psychology. The act of design is structuring and creating that balance.” - Clement Mok

“It’s not rocket science. It’s social science – the science of understanding people’s needs and their unique relationship with art, literature, history, music, work, philosophy, community, technology and psychology. The act of design is structuring and creating that balance.” – Clement Mok

This quote can be found in the book Everything Reverberates: Thoughts on Design, a book that contains “quotations from renowned designers, artists, and critics on the art, craft, business, process, and controversy of design”

UX suffers when we wall ourselves off from the rest of the organization

“UX suffers when we wall ourselves off from the rest of the organization. Getting people from other disciplines involved gives them the opportunity to feel that you’re all working toward a common goal. At the same time, it gives you the opportunity to advocate user-centered thinking and gain that critical buy-in.” - John Ferrara

“UX suffers when we wall ourselves off from the rest of the organization. Getting people from other disciplines involved gives them the opportunity to feel that you’re all working toward a common goal. At the same time, it gives you the opportunity to advocate user-centered thinking and gain that critical buy-in.” – John Ferrara

Read more from John and other UX professionals on the topic of “Evangelizing UX Across an Entire Organization” in the UXmatters article by Janet M. Six.

(It’s about time I quoted a fellow Vanguard Information Architect ;))

UX designers improve people’s lives by making experiences better

“What I get to do is take that insight into how people think and how people behave and turn it into something, a product or a service, that is going to make their lives better. It’s going to improve their lives in some way that they may not even be able to articulate. To be able to make some small part of their experience better, and all of those little experiences add up to the sum of somebody’s life... the ability to touch people in that way is really profound.” - Jesse James Garrett

“What I get to do is take that insight into how people think and how people behave and turn it into something, a product or a service, that is going to make their lives better. It’s going to improve their lives in some way that they may not even be able to articulate. To be able to make some small part of their experience better, and all of those little experiences add up to the sum of somebody’s life… the ability to touch people in that way is really profound.” – Jesse James Garrett

Note: Last portion of the quote has been slightly paraphrased for clarity.

Listen to a podcast with Jesse entitled “What the Heck is User Experience Design??!! (And Why Should I Care?)” from Teresa Brazen’s blog Tea with Teresa.

Simplicity is the by-product of a good idea and modest expectations

“Simplicity is not the goal. It is the by-product of a good idea and modest expectations.” - Paul Rand

“Simplicity is not the goal. It is the by-product of a good idea and modest expectations.” – Paul Rand

Find more articles, interviews, and videos from Paul Rand here.