We have to understand the world surrounding our designs

“I think as designers we realize design is a signal of intention, but it also has to occur within a world and we have to understand that world in order to imbue our designs with inherent intelligence.” – William McDonough

Watch architect and designer William McDonough’s TED Talk “The wisdom of designing Cradle to Cradle” for his thoughts on designing for the complete product lifecycle.

Interaction design is about shaping our everyday life through digital artifacts

“In the same way that industrial designers have shaped our everyday life through objects that they design for our offices and for our homes, interaction design is shaping our life with interactive technologies – computers, telecommunications, mobile phones, and so on. If I were to sum up interaction design in a sentence, I would say that it’s about shaping our everyday life through digital artifacts – for work, for play, and for entertainment.” - Gillian Crampton Smith

“In the same way that industrial designers have shaped our everyday life through objects that they design for our offices and for our homes, interaction design is shaping our life with interactive technologies – computers, telecommunications, mobile phones, and so on. If I were to sum up interaction design in a sentence, I would say that it’s about shaping our everyday life through digital artifacts – for work, for play, and for entertainment.” – Gillian Crampton Smith

Gillian wrote the foreward to Bill Moggridge’s book Designing Interactions. Watch a video interview with Gillian in which she discusses the ways in which people adopt technologies and the growing sophistication in the qualities of interaction design.

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Designers need to be very careful about the lure of complexity

“As web designers, we need to be very careful about the lure of complexity. We should not fall into the trap of thinking that if it’s hard to design, it must be good; that if it’s using the latest technology, it must be good; that if all our friends think it’s really cool, it must be good.” - Gerry McGovern

Read Gerry’s article “Achieving greater simplicity involves managing increasing complexity” for his thoughts on the importance of reducing complexity. Gerry McGovern provides website content management solutions.

Products are the gateway to a plethora of experiences

“For a human being the product is not an end in itself but the gateway to a plethora of experiences.” – Nokia Design Manifesto

Browse through the first edition of Nokia’s Design Manifesto (pdf) for many inspiring thoughts about design.

Teamwork and collaboration make great user experiences possible

“While each discipline on the product team has its role to play, it is the true teamwork and collaboration of a cohesive product team that makes great user experiences possible.” -Pabini Gabriel-Petit

Read Pabini’s article “Sharing Ownership of UX” on UXmatters for her thoughts on how the entire product team must work together when making product decisions.

There are no simple “right” answers for most web design questions

“There are no simple ‘right’ answers for most web design questions (at least not for the important ones). What works is good, integrated design that fills a need—carefully thought out, well executed, and tested.” – Don’t Make Me Think by Steve Krug

Be sure to pick up Steve’s book Don’t Make Me Think if you haven’t already.  It is a great overview of basic usability topics.