Category Archives: Jon Kolko

Good design is design that changes behavior for the better

“Good design is design that changes behavior for the better. I think it needs to take into account the context of the environment, of the human condition, the culture and then attempt to make the things you do—make us do them better, make us do better things. It encourages us to change the way that we live.” – Jon Kolko

Read more in Jon’s interview with Forbes entitled “Jon Kolko On Design That Changes Human Behavior.”

The best indicator of design success is a passion to make an impact

“I have no misconceptions that designers can ‘solve’ massive problems, or even approach them on their own without collaboration from other disciplines. But I feel strongly that designers make great agents of change and can champion new and novel approaches to old and tired problems. The best indicator of design success, in my experience, is a passion to make an impact.” – Jon Kolko

Read more in Jon’s Johnny Holland article “The Strange Connection between Entitlement, Social Innovation, and Interaction Design”.

As designers we are helping to define the culture of our society

“Every design decision... contributes to the behavior of the masses, and helps define the culture of our society. This describes an enormous opportunity for designers, one that is rarely realized. We are, quite literally, building the culture around us; arguably, our effect is larger and more immediate than even policy decisions of our government. We are responsible for both the positive and negative repercussions of our design decisions, and these decisions have monumental repercussions.” - Jon Kolko

“Every design decision… contributes to the behavior of the masses, and helps define the culture of our society. This describes an enormous opportunity for designers, one that is rarely realized. We are, quite literally, building the culture around us; arguably, our effect is larger and more immediate than even policy decisions of our government. We are responsible for both the positive and negative repercussions of our design decisions, and these decisions have monumental repercussions.” – Jon Kolko

This quote is from Jon’s article “Our Misguided Focus on Brand and User Experience.”

Focus on the nuances and details of the design craft itself

“Accept—quietly and implicitly—that your work will affect millions. Focus on the nuances and details of the craft itself, and on your capacity to engage in a conversation with your work. Through this will come humble and beautiful design solutions that will live on, affect culture, and change behavior. And through this will come a sense of subdued pleasure in your creative work.” - Jon Kolko

“Accept—quietly and implicitly—that your work will affect millions. Focus on the nuances and details of the craft itself, and on your capacity to engage in a conversation with your work. Through this will come humble and beautiful design solutions that will live on, affect culture, and change behavior. And through this will come a sense of subdued pleasure in your creative work.” – Jon Kolko

Read more from Jon in his interactions magazine article “On Hopelessness and Hope.” In this article Jon argues that successful design may come from those who focus more on designing for deep impact, rather than on broad high level strategic solutions.

Have undying, unending passion for design

“If I could tell you one thing about getting involved in design, it would be to have passion. Have undying, unending passion for what it is you’re doing. You’ll run up against people who don’t understand it, who don’t want to pay for it, who don’t respect it. Ultimately, none of that matters if you have the passion to make it happen.” - Jon Kolko

“If I could tell you one thing about getting involved in design, it would be to have passion. Have undying, unending passion for what it is you’re doing. You’ll run up against people who don’t understand it, who don’t want to pay for it, who don’t respect it. Ultimately, none of that matters if you have the passion to make it happen.” – Jon Kolko

This quote is from the School of Visual Art’s video series “Video Notes from the Field” in which design experts discuss their advice about becoming a designer.

Solve problems by moving from data, to information, to knowledge, to wisdom

"As the designer moves from data, to information, to knowledge and then to wisdom, the problem being solved changes from a single dimensional issue of aesthetics or organization to one of selective contextualization, and then to one of experience." - Jon Kolko"As the designer moves from data, to information, to knowledge and then to wisdom, the problem being solved changes from a single dimensional issue of aesthetics or organization to one of selective contextualization, and then to one of experience." - Jon Kolko

“As the designer moves from data, to information, to knowledge and then to wisdom, the problem being solved changes from a single dimensional issue of aesthetics or organization to one of selective contextualization, and then to one of experience.” – Jon Kolko

Read more about the process of “Design Synthesis” that helps us understand design problems in Jon’s article “Information Architecture and Design Strategy: The Importance of Synthesis during the Process of Design.”