« Multi-modal design: Gesture, Touch and Mobile devices...next big thing? | Main | AJAX Usability Checklist (Free holiday bonus for our readers) »

October 30, 2007

TrackBack

TrackBack URL for this entry:
http://www.typepad.com/services/trackback/6a00d8345a66bf69e200e54ee7927c8833

Listed below are links to weblogs that reference What is Design? (Yes, all 10 definitions!):

Comments

Dan

Thank you, I really actually enjoyed reading this piece. It cleared things out for me a lot, I don't know what these other people are complaining about. Keep writing some great blogs!

nemrut

IA was not invented by Rosenfeld et al though theyve done everthing possible to claim credit for it.

Do some more research...

Tim

You're way off the mark with what must be your own definition of a graphic designer. Designers rarely, if ever, "operate from the heart". Normally they operate within the confines of a brief, briefs that often leave little room for emotive response.

What references do you have to support your statement that designers, "are often accused of producing fluff"? I've been a designer and tutor for 12 years and I have never heard this accusation leveled against designers.

Designers are not (generally) fine artists nor are they superficial surface decorators.

Good designers, designers as problem solvers, are more than just the producers of "eye candy", they engage in the process of bringing meaningful visual form to communication, translating communication goals through various means. Graphic designers use words and images to express messages that inform, persuade, and incite people to action.

You really need to think through your general definition of a graphic designer. Perhaps speak to a credible designer or someone involved in the academic processes of design.

Mr Yap

What about Information Design?

I suppose in your own words it "more an approach or umbrella of techniques or a general approach"?

John McRee

I like your breakdown here because it illustrates that design is complex. Every project has different criteria for success. Determining these criteria is essential, because they define which methods are used, or which have focus. Now here's a question I would love to hear some feedback on: When and where does specialization in these disciplines make more sense than a "Jack of all" approach? Does it ever make sense? Or do we, as "designers" need to remain Renaissance men and be able to employ these methods at will?

- John McRee
EffectiveUI

Jeanette

What about green design or environmental design?

rajesh kumar singh

fantastick !!!!!!!!

Branden Christensen

I love your look at the "definition" of design! Me being a future graphic artist in the communication of art and design; I really like seeing other peoples aspect of design. Like you had said in your summery at the end "Perhaps at this point you can understand why understanding "design" can be so ambiguous at times." when talking about design and a person saying or telling you what Design is often an understatement, similar to what you had stated in the beginning of your article! Thanks for the new outlook!

Tom Humbarger

rank,

I enjoyed your post and wrote a summary of it for my blog in the Catalyze community (http://www.mycatalyze.org).

Here is the trackback URL - http://tinyurl.com/24guo7.

Thanks again.

Tom Humbarger
Community Manager
Catalyze Community

Tom Humbarger

rank,

I enjoyed your post and wrote a summary of it for my blog in the Catalyze community (http://www.mycatalyze.org).

Here is the trackback URL - http://tinyurl.com/24guo7.

Thanks again.

Tom Humbarger
Community Manager
Catalyze Community

Tom Humbarger

Frank,

I enjoyed your post and wrote a summary of it for my blog in the Catalyze community (http://www.mycatalyze.org).

Here is the trackback URL - http://tinyurl.com/24guo7.

Thanks again.

Tom Humbarger
Community Manager
Catalyze Community

Tom Humbarger

Frank,

I enjoyed your post and wrote a summary of it for my blog in the Catalyze community (http://www.mycatalyze.org).

Here is the trackback URL - http://tinyurl.com/24guo7.

Thanks again.

Tom Humbarger
Community Manager
Catalyze Community

Tom Humbarger

Frank,

I enjoyed your post and wrote a summary of it for my blog in the Catalyze community (http://www.mycatalyze.org).

Here is the trackback URL - http://tinyurl.com/24guo7.

Thanks again.

Tom Humbarger
Community Manager
Catalyze Community

Frank

Hi Frank here...Thanks for all your comments!

CARL - yes it was Wurman in the late 60's who invented the term "Information Architecture" to describe the act of creating understanding and meaning from information. Few people know that in our community however, and the main reference point in the Web community that uses that term is the polar bear book and the term IA, the former Argus folks promoted into a field of it's own- it seems.

Fashion designers and architects are involved in design, but I wanted to only capture the use of the term design (and the techniques employed) in the field of usability engineering and user centered design, for web-software and product design (areas I work in).

JUSTIN- Instructional design is certainly valid, though I see that as a specific niche area. For example there are so many people technically doing Instructional design (or Computer Supported Collaborative Work)who are not calling it that. They are more broadly approaching design from one of the 10 areas above.

JOHN- Persuasive Design is a relatively new term mainly promoted by the sales-savvy Eiesenberg brothers in Brooklyn (Persuasion Architect, Chief Persuasion Officer). Persuasion from an academic perspective has been advanced by Stanford University and BJ Fogg at his Captology lab. To me persuasion is essential to understand and design into your web, software or product design. It's an outcome and an intention we build into our designs like trust, loyalty, desire, pleasure, fun (see Funology). To me you don't separate persuasion out from usability and treat it as if it's something new that usability isn't sensitive to- that's ridiculous (yes, that is a criticism of the articles I've seen on ClickZ by Bryan Eisenberg positing that!).

DAVE- Herbert Simon and the other social scientists, design luminaries from yester-year that are only uttered in academic contexts are certainly legitimate though I was afraid if I drilled into that level of philosophical and theoretical detail I might loose my readers.

Though I would put Bucky Fuller up there in your thinkers category, see the new poster I just created to connect his work to user advocacy:

(Cube Art, first poster down)
http://tinyurl.com/2obljs

Carl Weiss

- Wasn´t it Richard Saul Wurman that invented the term Information Architecture?

- I guess only bad graphic designers see themselves as just emotion expressers.

- If the analysis are broad, and even include industrial design, why aren´t fashion designers on the list? Or maybe architects?

Justin Beller

Might I suggest another definition of design? How about instructional design? This the creation of learning solutions to transfer knowledge. While the usability of a product ideally should be intuative in and of itself, there still is a need for a form of support or reference tools to enable end-users to complete tasks they may have little or no knowledge about. Sometimes these are in the form of electronic support systems. It's possible you can categorize this under design for the mind.

John W. Furst

Hi Frank! As I promised here I am to check back. I'd add "Persuasive Design" to your list. The goal it to increase the probability that users take a desired action (like subscribing to a list, place an order, ...). At its best I describe it as marriage between usability engineering and marketing. --John

Dave

Nice list, but I am curious why you left out the broader definitions of design created by some key design thinkers.

Herbert Simon, in the The Sciences of the Artificial defined design as
"transformation of existing conditions into preferred ones."

For those who are interested: Friedman, Cross, Stolterman, and Krippendorff also have interesting perspectives to share.

The comments to this entry are closed.