Design: How it works, not just how it looks

Design: How it works, not just how it looks

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Andrew Leong, Contributor

Design is about how it works not just how it looks

Any type of development requires design to make it work. Whether products, services, software, resorts, tourism or land development. As Steve Jobs said in a 1997 interview with Wired Magazine  “People think that design is how it looks, but it goes much deeper than that, it is actually how it works”. I would add – works not just in a physical sense but also economically.

Integrated Master Planning and Design

If you’re a new developer how does design at a bigger scale (ie integrated master planning) make your project work? How does it add value?



Design quotes from DesignWasHere:


Design is a plan for arranging elements in such a way as best to accomplish a particular purpose.

— Charles Eames


Everything is designed. Few things are designed well.

— Brian Reed


There is no design without discipline. There is no discipline without intelligence.

— Massimo Vignelli


People ignore design that ignores people.

— Frank Chimero


I’ve always held to the belief that the practice of creating compelling graphic design occurs not by employing the principals of a democracy, but rather, that of a monarchy.

— Thomas Vasquez


Good design is obvious. Great design is transparent.

— Joe Sparano


The most innovative designers consciously reject the standard option box and cultivate an appetite for thinking wrong.

— Marty Neumeier


Design is where science and art break even.

— Robin Mathew


Good design goes to heaven; bad design goes everywhere.

— Mieke Gerritzen


A designer is a planner with an aesthetic sense.

— Bruno Munari


Design is the application of intent – the opposite of happenstance, and an antidote to accident.

— Robert L. Peters


Design is the search for a magical balance between business and art; art and craft; intuition and reason; concept and detail; playfulness and formality; client and designer; designer and printer; and printer and public.

— Valerie Pettis


Design should never say, “Look at me.” It should always say, “Look at this.”

— David Craib


Bad design is smoke, while good design is a mirror.

— Juan-Carlos Fernàndez


The design process, at its best, integrates the aspirations of art, science, and culture.

— Jeff Smith


Good design is a lot like clear thinking made visual.

— Edward Tufte


Math is easy; design is hard.

— Jeffrey Veen


Design is the conscious effort to impose a meaningful order.

— Victor Papanek


Content precedes design. Design in the absence of content is not design, it’s decoration.

— Jeffrey Zeldman


People think that design is styling. Design is not style. It’s not about giving shape to the shell and not giving a damn about the guts. Good design is a renaissance attitude that combines technology, cognitive science, human need, and beauty to produce something that the world didn’t know it was missing.

— Paola Antonelli


Design is not the narrow application of formal skills, it is a way of thinking.

— Chris Pullman


Design is about making things good (and then better) and right (and fantastic) for the people who use and encounter them.

— Matt Beale


Design is the fundamental soul of a human-made creation that ends up expressing itself in successive outer layers of the product or service.

— Steve Jobs


I’m convinced that without bad design, the world would be a far less stimulating place; we would have nothing to marvel over and nothing to be nostalgic about.

— Carrie Phillips


Behavioral design is all about feeling in control. Includes: usability, understanding, but also the feel.

— Don Norman


Good design must be defined by appropriateness to audience and goals, and by its effectiveness, not by its adherence to Swiss design or the number of awards it wins.

— Drew Davies


Design creates culture. Culture shapes values. Values determine the future.

— Robert L. Peters


It’s art if can’t be explained.

It’s fashion if no one asks for an explanation.

It’s design if it doesn’t need explanation.

— Wouter Stokkel


You can’t do better design with a computer, but you can speed up your work enormously.

— Wim Crouwel


I love the comment, “You must love designing for a living.” At that point I usually start to laugh or break into uncontrollable tears.

— Andrew Lewis


The dumbest mistake is viewing design as something you do at the end of the process to ‘tidy up’ the mess, as opposed to understanding it’s a ‘day one’ issue and part of everything.

— Tom Peters


Designers have a dual duty; contractually to their clients and morally to the later users and recipients of their work.

— Hans Höger


A common mistake that people make when trying to design something completely foolproof is to underestimate the ingenuity of complete fools.

— Douglas Adams


A camel is a horse designed by a committee.

— Sir Alec Issigonis


Design is a means toward accomplishing the end goals of serving markets and generating profits. Furthermore, design is an element in social responsibility. Good design allows “form to complement performance.” The way things look is not irrelevant to the way things work: how they work is how they should look.

— Thomas F. Schutte


Art is like masturbation. It is selfish and introverted and done for you and you alone. Design is like sex. There is someone else involved, their needs are just as important as your own, and if everything goes right, both parties are happy in the end.

— Colin Wright


Many desperate acts of design (including gradients, drop shadows, and the gratuitous use of transparency) are perpetuated in the absence of a strong concept. A good idea provides a framework for design decisions, guiding the work.

— Noreen Morioka


Most [clients] expect experience design to be a discrete activity, solving all their problems with a single functional specification or a single research study. It must be an ongoing effort, a process of continually learning about users, responding to their behaviors, and evolving the product or service.

— Dan Brown


Technology over technique produces emotionless design.

— Daniel Mall


I think design covers so much more than the aesthetic. Design is fundamentally more. Design is usability. It is Information Architecture. It is Accessibility. This is all design.

— Mark Boulton


A design isn’t finished until somebody is using it.

— Brenda Laurel/p>


The life of a designer is a life of fight: fight against the ugliness.

— Massimo Vignelli


If design isn’t profitable, then it’s art.

— Henrik Fiskar


A well-designed text will seem weightless after a time; the initial feel of the book fades away as the mind becomes engrossed in the words.

— Mandy Brown


Graphic design will save the world right after rock and roll does.

— David Carson


The difference between a Designer and Developer, when it comes to design skills, is the difference between shooting a bullet and throwing it.

— Scott Hanselman


Practice safe design: Use a concept.

— Petrula Vrontikis


Good design keeps the user happy, the manufacturer in the black and the aesthete un-offended.

— Raymond Loewy


Always design a thing by considering it in its next larger context – a chair in a room, a room in a house, a house in an environment, an environment in a city plan.

— Eliel Saarinen


Truly elegant design incorporates top-notch functionality into a simple, uncluttered form.

— David Lewis


A designer knows he has achieved perfection not when there is nothing left to add, but when there is nothing left to take away.

— Antoine de Saint Exupéry


Designers think everything done by someone else is awful, and that they could do it better themselves, which explains why I designed my own living room carpet, I suppose.

— Chris Bangle


It’s really hard to design products by focus groups. A lot of times, people don’t know what they want until you show it to them.

— Steve Jobs


At a meta level, design connects the dots between mere survival and humanism.

— Erik Adigard


To say that something is designed means it has intentions that go beyond its function. Otherwise it’s just planning.

— Ayse Birsel


No design works unless it embodies ideas that are held common by the people for whom the object is intended.

— Adrian Forty


Many things difficult to design prove easy to perform.

— Samuel Johnson


Questions about whether design is necessary or affordable are quite beside the point: design is inevitable. The alternative to good design is bad design, not no design at all. Everyone makes design decisions all the time without realizing it—like Moliere’s M. Jourdain who discovered he had been speaking prose all his life—and good design is simply the result of making these decisions consciously, at the right stage, and in consultation with others as the need arises.

— Douglas Martin


Design is easy. All you do is stare at the screen until drops of blood form on your forehead.

— Marty Neumeier


The only important thing about design is how it relates to people.

— Victor Papanek


Our opportunity, as designers, is to learn how to handle the complexity, rather than shy away from it, and to realize that the big art of design is to make complicated things simple.

— Tim Parsey


The public is more familiar with bad design than good design. It is, in effect, conditioned to prefer bad design, because that is what it lives with. The new becomes threatening, the old reassuring.

— Paul Rand


Art is an idea that has found its perfect visual expression. And design is the vehicle by which this expression is made possible. Art is a noun, and design is a noun and also a verb. Art is a product and design is a process. Design is the foundation of all the arts.

— Paul Rand


Designing a product is designing a relationship.

— Steve Rogers


It is easy to fail when designing an interactive experience. Designers fail when they do not know the audience, integrate the threads of content and context, welcome the public properly, or make clear what the experience is and what the audience’s role in it will be.

— Edwin Schlossberg


Good design is good business.

— Thomas J. Watson Jr.


Great design will not sell an inferior product, but it will enable a great product to achieve its maximum potential.

— Thomas J. Watson Jr.


…designers can make life more bearable by producing stuff that touches its audience rather than fucks them in the head.

— Jon Wozencraft


Design is in everything we make, but it’s also between those things. It’s a mix of craft, science, storytelling, propaganda, and philosophy.

— Erik Adigard


I never design a building before I’ve seen the site and met the people who will be using it.

— Frank Lloyd Wright


The fundamental failure of most graphic, product, architectural, and even urban design is its insistence on serving the God of Looking-Good rather than the God of Being-Good.

— Richard Saul Wurman


Image: jitze


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