Necessary and useful design should be beautiful

“Don’t make something unless it is both necessary and useful; but if it is both necessary and useful, don’t hesitate to make it beautiful.” - Design House Stockholm

“Don’t make something unless it is both necessary and useful; but if it is both necessary and useful, don’t hesitate to make it beautiful.” – Design House Stockholm

This quote is the philosophy of the design company Design House Stockholm. The quote was most recently mentioned as echoing Daniel Burka’s design philosophy, and has also been cited in Joshua Porter’s article “The Shaker Design Philosphy.”

Understanding that all design happens within a context is key to becoming a good designer

“Understanding that all design happens within a context is the first (and arguably the only) stop to make on your way to becoming a good designer. You can be a bad designer after that, of course, but you don’t stand a chance of being a good one if you don’t first consider context. It’s everything: In graphics, communication, interaction, architecture, product, service, you name it—if it doesn't take context into account, it’s crap.” - Allan Chochinov

“Understanding that all design happens within a context is the first (and arguably the only) stop to make on your way to becoming a good designer. You can be a bad designer after that, of course, but you don’t stand a chance of being a good one if you don’t first consider context. It’s everything: In graphics, communication, interaction, architecture, product, service, you name it—if it doesn’t take context into account, it’s crap.” – Allan Chochinov

Read more from Allan in his article “1000 Words: A Manifesto for Sustainability in Design.”

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Make sure that whatever you design is fitting a need in the world and has a purpose

“Differentiate yourself by fully understanding the problem before you attempt to solve it... Don’t just fall in love with a solution and go full-force on making it look great, but really make sure that whatever you design is fitting a need in the world and has a purpose.” - Whitney Hess

“Differentiate yourself by fully understanding the problem before you attempt to solve it… Don’t just fall in love with a solution and go full-force on making it look great, but really make sure that whatever you design is fitting a need in the world and has a purpose.” – Whitney Hess

Whitney’s quote is from the School of Visual Arts’ article “Video Notes from the Field” in which designers gave video advice for students thinking of becomming designers. View Whitney’s blog post about the video here.

UX is about technology that fulfils more than just instrumental needs

“UX is about technology that fulfils more than just instrumental needs in a way that acknowledges its use as a subjective, situated, complex and dynamic encounter. UX is a consequence of a user’s internal state, the characteristics of the designed system and the context within which the interaction occurs.” - Marc Hassenzahl and Noam Tractinsky

“UX is about technology that fulfils more than just instrumental needs in a way that acknowledges its use as a subjective, situated, complex and dynamic encounter. UX is a consequence of a user’s internal state, the characteristics of the designed system and the context within which the interaction occurs.” – Marc Hassenzahl and Noam Tractinsky

Read more from Marc and Noam in their paper “User Experience – A Research Agenda.” This paper was referenced in Will Evans’ article “Design Ethnography & Mood Maps.”

Design combines art, scientific complexity, and usefulness

“What I love about design is the artistic and scientific complexity that also becomes useful...  Great designers also pursue a mission. Great designers design with mankind in mind... The crossroads of science and art, innovation and inspiration are what I love about design.” - Michelle Obama

“What I love about design is the artistic and scientific complexity that also becomes useful…  Great designers also pursue a mission. Great designers design with mankind in mind… The crossroads of science and art, innovation and inspiration are what I love about design.” – Michelle Obama

This quote is from Michelle’s speech at the Cooper Hewitt National Design Awards at the White House. Read a full transcript of her remarks or watch a video of her speech.

Great design is storytelling at its finest

“Great design is storytelling at its finest; it is insightful, sincere and evokes emotion and change. Design is at the center of the user experience and it is the designer’s responsibility to make the experience remarkable for both the client and their audience.” - Jim Antonopoulos

“Great design is storytelling at its finest; it is insightful, sincere and evokes emotion and change. Design is at the center of the user experience and it is the designer’s responsibility to make the experience remarkable for both the client and their audience.” – Jim Antonopoulos

This quote is from Jim’s thoughts on “Why Design?” from Design Victoria.

Thanks to Bella Martin for submitting this quote!