This week, I read two articles and watched a video, all regarding design in the real world. I thought that these articles brought the class full circle. Throughout the term, we learned how design is not just for the aesthetics, but is actually a very useful skill and should be utilized in many different fields. One factor that remained constant for design thinking and human centered design is the end user. Throughout the design process, designers and companies should keep the customer’s wants and needs in mind, because ultimately, the customer is the motivation and inspiration behind most, if not all, designs. With that being said, there should still be aspects that reflect the designer in their product or service. Without love being the driving factor, the love for what they do and what they create, design lacks the passion that customers desire.
The value of design cannot be solely communicated through the value of money, rather a mix of the price and the gift. Design is a gift. This gift comes from the creator of the design as well as the actual piece of work. Much like the value of design is a mix, the gift of design is a mix as well. The way we utilize and value the design helps establish the meaningfulness of the gift of design. We often use design to shape our world around us and better it, for ourselves as well as other. In this case, the gift of design has a high value.
This week, we read about prototyping. Prototyping can help any designer in any career or business. Prototyping allows designers to test out their ideas in a timely fashion while investing limited energy and finances. Prototyping is also beneficial when it comes to improving customer relationships. In the beginning stages, designers can have issues getting customers to adopt their design ideas. Customers often say “prove it” because of the lack of trust in the design. With prototyping, designers can show customers how the design is meant to work, while also working with the customer to make requested improvements and changes.
This week, I watched a TED Talk called Design is in the Details. In this talk, Paul Bennett discusses the idea of how big changes and success in designs come from the small details of the design and the small ideas. Bennett also discusses how the perfect idea could be right in front of us, but we have become so blind to it because we are looking too hard. In this case, the designers must take a step back and look at things from the consumers point of view. By taking the consumers point of view, designers are able to see the true issue and get an idea of the type of solution would be best for the situation.
In chapter 6 of The Shape of Design, author Frank Chimero writes how design never stops as we are in a world that is ever changing and always evolving. There are constant opportunities for design to shift and grow. Chimero states, “design is always in motion.”
In this week’s readings, we learned about personas. Designers use personas to create a better understanding of who their target market and users are. These personas are fictional, but the information used is based off of research from actual consumers. These personas are detailed in order for designers to further their understanding of these users; the personas can be looked at as a short story where the reader gets background information and life story information of the users. As designers use the information from the personas, they are able to think in the mindset of the users, rather than their own personal mindset.
This week’s readings touched a lot on the concept of “new ideas.” All successful designs have three things in common. Every design concept has a message to the work, has a focused tone for that message, and the message has a clear format. Although these are concepts that are common, the way they are configured creates uniqueness within each design. The way designers configure these concepts leads to new ideas. The concepts of these new configurations serve as prerequisites for new ideas, meaning that every new design requires the use of already developed designs or ideas. This doesn’t mean that the new designs aren’t “new,” but it would be impossible to create something new without using some type of material or concept that is already existing.
In this week’s readings, we learned a lot about inspiration. People can pull inspiration for anything from anything. The idea of originality came up in last week’s discussion, and the questions was “is anything original anymore?” This is a hard concept to think about, because people are inspired by their world, whether they know it or not. So maybe they think their idea is unique and original, but subconsciously, it was inspired by something they saw. That being said, being inspired does not mean your work is unoriginal. I think the idea behind originality is a hard concept to grasp. But one take away that I really enjoyed from this week’s reading was that if you light one candle with another candle, neither of their flames are dulled. Meaning if you take inspiration from something, that is not taking away from that thing’s value, or your something’s value.
Throughout this week’s readings and video, I gained a general idea of design thinking and the design process. These two terms can have different meanings to people, but generally, there are a few ideas that guide these terms. Design is not limited to one thing, one media, one idea, one career, etc. Anyone can be a designer and a designer can enhance any idea. There are also many steps to the process of design. Most people put an emphasis on the finished product, but they forget about the middle steps in between. I would say the biggest take away I had from this week’s readings would be the idea of “how” and “why.” The idea behind “how” is the techniques and skills of what it takes to complete a task. But the idea of “why” is the passion and the driving force to create and complete the task. One must have a good balance between “how” and “why” to be successful, otherwise their progress could be disrupted and their best work may not be displayed.