DesignFormulas – a place to listen to design ideas and interesting design stories
The real meaning and objective of design and common misunderstandings from others
designer
Carlo van de Berg
Design Leader and Influencer
#3
"I think design field has a challenge of “explaining”, that is, what is the bar of design and if it is only about beautifying stuff and (analyzing) statistics, that is a very immature way of explaining design. It is more than that. But I just realize that everyone of us in this sort of design field still have hard times of explaining that."
Which part of design do you find fascinating? Why do you choose to be a designer? Instead of other things…
Firefighter? Maybe it is sort of a philosophical answer. I strongly believe that we are all designers, because we design each other’s experience. Like you are designing now this conversation. When I go to the grocery stores, someone designed that I have to walk to a certain way. But also sort of when I end up by the cashier, the person behind the cashier behaves in a certain way. That’s all experience that we do to each other, and they are designed. Whether it is conscious design or subconscious design. The reason I became a designer and I love to be a designer is that I see a lot of things around me still that are mediocre. So a lot of experience that I have are usable, fine, that I can use them. I can only mention a few that are meaningful and pleasurable. So I see that this is my role to bring that forward. First of all, we are responsible for each other’s happiness, because we are designing each other’s experience. And at the same time, raising the bar. So not so much like “okay, yes, I designed a telephone, fine because it works”, but how can you design a telephone that can change people’s life or something. So you have to raise the bar a bit in order to come up with really great product. That is the thing keeps me going. However I still see a lot of things that are just horrible, or experiences, like services from companies, ordering a fly ticket or something, that are also not so good.
So what do you think is some of the misunderstandings that other people have about design?
Well, one of them, I guess obviously, I think lots of people saying, is that designers are making things more beautiful. So they arrive at the final stage of the product, where it is all done and in the end, they say “okay, let’s hire a designer to make something beautiful”. Where is, of course, the design market, or the field of design knows that it is not true. I think in the last couple of years, the design profession has matured, and even has said things like you are approaching challenges of the whole company. And from a design thinking perspective, you turn it around and look at things from design thinking perspective, sort of seeing the needs and whatever process that comes to it. So the impact of well-designed thing, like I said, everything is design, so it’s huge. And I think design field has a challenge of “explaining”, that is what is the bar of design and not so much… and yeah, if it is only about beautifying stuff and statistics, that is a very immature way of explaining design. It is more than that, but I just realize that every one of us in this sort of design field still have hard times of explaining that. But the world is still like that. And also that we still need to fix the misunderstanding.