what are your fundamental tenets of design?

12 Nov 2007 - 1:00pm
6 years ago
22 replies
1193 reads
ldebett
2004

I am curious about what you design by. What are your fundamental tenets of
design; those little bulleted phrases on the Design Vision slide of your
Powerpoint, the signatures on your email footer, the philosophies you work
by as you design?

What's your domain and how do you use your tenets to guide you on a daily
basis?

~Lisa
(IxDA Boston)

Comments

12 Nov 2007 - 2:10pm
Morten Hjerde
2007

When in doubt, mumble.

Morten

On Nov 12, 2007 7:00 PM, Lisa deBettencourt <ldebett at gmail.com> wrote:

> I am curious about what you design by. What are your fundamental tenets of
> design; those little bulleted phrases on the Design Vision slide of your
> Powerpoint, the signatures on your email footer, the philosophies you work
> by as you design?
>
> What's your domain and how do you use your tenets to guide you on a daily
> basis?
>
> ~Lisa
> (IxDA Boston)
> ________________________________________________________________
> *Come to IxDA Interaction08 | Savannah*
> February 8-10, 2008 in Savannah, GA, USA
> Register today: http://interaction08.ixda.org/
>
> ________________________________________________________________
> Welcome to the Interaction Design Association (IxDA)!
> To post to this list ....... discuss at ixda.org
> Unsubscribe ................ http://www.ixda.org/unsubscribe
> List Guidelines ............ http://www.ixda.org/guidelines
> List Help .................. http://www.ixda.org/help
>

--
Morten Hjerde
http://sender11.typepad.com

12 Nov 2007 - 2:39pm
Jeff Howard
2004

Lisa wrote:
> I am curious about what you design by...

"When I am working on a problem I never think about beauty. I only
think about how to solve the problem. But when I have finished, if
the solution is not beautiful, I know it is wrong." -- Buckminster
Fuller

Many more of that ilk here:
http://www.oneplusoneequalsthree.com/2004/03/what_is_design.html

I'm also partial to Emerson:
"A foolish consistency is the hobgoblin of little minds."

// jeff

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Posted from the new ixda.org
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12 Nov 2007 - 2:45pm
Peter Boersma
2003

Lisa asked:
> I am curious about what you design by. What are your fundamental tenets of
> design

This slides returns every so often in the Interaction Design course I teach, and I like it a lot:

designing interactive systems
is an integrated, iterative process, aimed at
understanding, designing for, and evaluating with
users

> What's your domain and how do you use your tenets to guide you on a daily
> basis?

As I said, this is used in a training situation where, over the course of 3 days, I deal with design research, design (from concept, through structure, interaction, content, and layout to visual) and design evaluation, as well as integrating the process into the overall product/service design process.
Elements of the sentence above get highlighted at the beginning and end of each section:

- "designing interactive systems": terminology and methodology (day 1)
- "an integrated, iterative process": integrating design in the overall process (day 3)
- "understanding [..] users": design research, day 1
- "designing for [..] users" : design layers (day 2)
- "evaluating with [..] users": design evaluation (day 3)
- "users": after every section in day 2, I ask "where are the users?"

Peter
--
Peter Boersma | Senior Interaction Designer | Info.nl
http://www.peterboersma.com/blog | http://www.info.nl

12 Nov 2007 - 2:52pm
Bob Miller
2007

Good design is equal parts fashion, function, and fit.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Posted from the new ixda.org
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12 Nov 2007 - 5:06pm
Jens Meiert
2004

> I am curious about what you design by. What are your fundamental
> tenets of design

Goal is that it works (or “reveals” [1], respectively) and that it's durable [2], ideally. From my experience, that distinguishes design from art or decoration.

[1] http://meiert.com/en/blog/20070512/principles-of-art-design-and-decoration/
[2] http://meiert.com/en/blog/20071013/qualities-of-design/

--
Jens Meiert
http://meiert.com/en/

12 Nov 2007 - 6:13pm
Greg Petroff
2004

LISTEN TO MAKE / MAKE TO THINK

12 Nov 2007 - 6:46pm
Jared M. Spool
2003

It takes no skill to build something stupid.

12 Nov 2007 - 6:51pm
Jared M. Spool
2003

On Nov 12, 2007, at 6:46 PM, Jared M. Spool wrote:

> It takes no skill to build something stupid.

Oh, I just remembered another one:

The good thing about users is eventually they die.

(I really need to get some t-shirts made.)

12 Nov 2007 - 7:18pm
Robert Hoekman, Jr.
2005

>
> The good thing about users is eventually they die.

Hahaha!

I'm actually still laughing after a full minute after reading this. I would
sooo buy that t-shirt. :)

-r-

12 Nov 2007 - 6:59pm
Tal Shay
2007

Some men see things as they are and say "why?"
I dream of things that never were and say "why not?"
George Bernard Shaw

On Nov 12, 2007 5:13 PM, Petroff, Greg <greg.petroff at sap.com> wrote:

> LISTEN TO MAKE / MAKE TO THINK
>
>
> ________________________________________________________________
> *Come to IxDA Interaction08 | Savannah*
> February 8-10, 2008 in Savannah, GA, USA
> Register today: http://interaction08.ixda.org/
>
> ________________________________________________________________
> Welcome to the Interaction Design Association (IxDA)!
> To post to this list ....... discuss at ixda.org
> Unsubscribe ................ http://www.ixda.org/unsubscribe
> List Guidelines ............ http://www.ixda.org/guidelines
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>

12 Nov 2007 - 7:58pm
Tal Shay
2007

there's no such thing as an idiot proof system
turns out that idiots can be quite smart...

On Nov 12, 2007 12:00 PM, Lisa deBettencourt <ldebett at gmail.com> wrote:

> I am curious about what you design by. What are your fundamental tenets of
> design; those little bulleted phrases on the Design Vision slide of your
> Powerpoint, the signatures on your email footer, the philosophies you work
> by as you design?
>
> What's your domain and how do you use your tenets to guide you on a daily
> basis?
>
> ~Lisa
> (IxDA Boston)
> ________________________________________________________________
> *Come to IxDA Interaction08 | Savannah*
> February 8-10, 2008 in Savannah, GA, USA
> Register today: http://interaction08.ixda.org/
>
> ________________________________________________________________
> Welcome to the Interaction Design Association (IxDA)!
> To post to this list ....... discuss at ixda.org
> Unsubscribe ................ http://www.ixda.org/unsubscribe
> List Guidelines ............ http://www.ixda.org/guidelines
> List Help .................. http://www.ixda.org/help
>

12 Nov 2007 - 9:20pm
Dan Saffer
2003

First, do no harm.
Respect the inherent worth and dignity of every person in contact with
the product: actor and receiver.
Respect the limited resources of our planet.
Design for people, not for Man.
Respect the limits of human beings: physically, cognitively,
emotionally.
Be attentive to the drain on effort, time, and attention.
Fit the design into the social and cultural context of use.
Users are the subject matter experts and should be listened to.
Except when they shouldn't be. I'm the design expert.
Make the product dissolve into the behavior of the task.
A product designed without emotion will never be loved.
Time is the ultimate test of any design.

Dan

Dan Saffer
Experience Design Director, Adaptive Path
http://www.adaptivepath.com
http://www.odannyboy.com

12 Nov 2007 - 10:33pm
Christopher Fahey
2005

> I am curious about what you design by. What are your fundamental
> tenets of
> design; those little bulleted phrases on the Design Vision slide of
> your
> Powerpoint, the signatures on your email footer, the philosophies
> you work
> by as you design?

Great question. I just want to be clear, though, that this is how *I*
work. I make no claim that working the way I do will lead to success
for other designers, design firms, or for design as a whole in a
capitalist economy.

* Do work you can be proud of.
* Work for clients and bosses you like and can be proud of. Show the
sleazebags the door.
* Don't lie.
* Understand that your audience is not you (and learn who they are),
but always treat your audience how you would want to be treated.
* Don't worry about the longevity of your ideas -- much of what is
truly great is perfect for the moment but ultimately ephemeral, while
much of what lasts is crummy and is only remembered for nostalgic
reasons.
* Generate ideas constantly. Write down every idea.
* Design can happen first, even before a need or problem is identified.
* But design isn't just "a good idea". It's a good follow through, too.
* Think hard and work hard: 90% of your time will be spent dreaming
up your ideas. The other 90% will be spent implementing them.
* Make 'em think: Don't be afraid to be a snob. Some people just
won't get your idea without thinking about it. Some people just don't
want to think. But those who do will appreciate being challenged.
* Make 'em laugh: Don't be afraid to be a goof. Some people have no
sense of humor, but you'll be surprised who does.
* Style is great. Fads and fashions are fun. There are plenty of
design contexts where stylishness is critical -- and there is no
design context where a sense of style is completely inappropriate.
* Share your design ideas. No idea is so good that keeping it secret
helps you. If you don't build it, that's your problem.
* Design is a funny kind of collaboration: Two designers are better
than one, but only one designer can drive.
* Design is fun.

-Cf

Christopher Fahey
____________________________
Behavior
biz: http://www.behaviordesign.com
me: http://www.graphpaper.com

On Nov 12, 2007, at 1:00 PM, Lisa deBettencourt wrote:

> I am curious about what you design by. What are your fundamental
> tenets of
> design; those little bulleted phrases on the Design Vision slide of
> your
> Powerpoint, the signatures on your email footer, the philosophies
> you work
> by as you design?
>
> What's your domain and how do you use your tenets to guide you on a
> daily
> basis?
>
> ~Lisa
> (IxDA Boston)
> ________________________________________________________________
> *Come to IxDA Interaction08 | Savannah*
> February 8-10, 2008 in Savannah, GA, USA
> Register today: http://interaction08.ixda.org/
>
> ________________________________________________________________
> Welcome to the Interaction Design Association (IxDA)!
> To post to this list ....... discuss at ixda.org
> Unsubscribe ................ http://www.ixda.org/unsubscribe
> List Guidelines ............ http://www.ixda.org/guidelines
> List Help .................. http://www.ixda.org/help

12 Nov 2007 - 11:09pm
.pauric
2006

Designing is the act of deleting the non-essential.

Understanding the non-essential is our craft.

'how do you use your tenets to guide you on a daily basis?'
Use only what you need, create only what is necessary. Everything
else is noise.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Posted from the new ixda.org
http://gamma.ixda.org/discuss?post=22431

13 Nov 2007 - 7:23am
Chauncey Wilson
2007

There is an interesting book on Design by Kees Dorst -- Understanding
Design: 150 Reflections on Being a Designer (2003). In the intro to
his book he notes "Together, the 150 essays in this book provide a
panoramic view over the subject of design. The essays are written to
challenge designers and students of design, to reflect upon the many
aspects of the field" (p. 10).

Topics in design include:

Design as...
Design problems
Design solutions
Kinds of designing
Elements of design
How to...?
Thinking about design
The experience of designing
Education
On Designers
Creative minds
Thinking tools for designers
Design teams
Designing in context
Managing design
Design morality
Design debates

The essays are each about 1 page long.

Quite an interesting little book that explores design from many
perspectives including prototypes and prototyping (and metaphor).

chauncey

On Mon, 12 Nov 2007 20:09:49, pauric <radiorental at gmail.com> wrote:
> Designing is the act of deleting the non-essential.
>
> Understanding the non-essential is our craft.
>
> 'how do you use your tenets to guide you on a daily basis?'
> Use only what you need, create only what is necessary. Everything
> else is noise.
>
>
> . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
> Posted from the new ixda.org
> http://gamma.ixda.org/discuss?post=22431
>
>
>
> ________________________________________________________________
> *Come to IxDA Interaction08 | Savannah*
> February 8-10, 2008 in Savannah, GA, USA
> Register today: http://interaction08.ixda.org/
>
> ________________________________________________________________
> Welcome to the Interaction Design Association (IxDA)!
> To post to this list ....... discuss at ixda.org
> Unsubscribe ................ http://www.ixda.org/unsubscribe
> List Guidelines ............ http://www.ixda.org/guidelines
> List Help .................. http://www.ixda.org/help
>

13 Nov 2007 - 10:54am
Robert Hoekman, Jr.
2005

"The reasonable man adapts himself to the world; the unreasonable man
persists in trying to adapt the world to himself. Therefore all progress
depends on the unreasonable man." (George Bernard Shaw)
Sounds arrogant to some, I'm sure, but it's meant to show that those who
make the most progress are not the ones who work with what already is, but
those that see something better on the other side.

-r-

13 Nov 2007 - 11:24am
Stew Dean
2007

Best ever advice given to me about design is 'Avoid the arbitary'.

Like many user experience people I use the term 'It depends' a lot.

Stew Dean

On 12/11/2007, Lisa deBettencourt <ldebett at gmail.com> wrote:
> I am curious about what you design by. What are your fundamental tenets of
> design; those little bulleted phrases on the Design Vision slide of your
> Powerpoint, the signatures on your email footer, the philosophies you work
> by as you design?
>
> What's your domain and how do you use your tenets to guide you on a daily
> basis?
>
> ~Lisa
> (IxDA Boston)
> ________________________________________________________________
> *Come to IxDA Interaction08 | Savannah*
> February 8-10, 2008 in Savannah, GA, USA
> Register today: http://interaction08.ixda.org/
>
> ________________________________________________________________
> Welcome to the Interaction Design Association (IxDA)!
> To post to this list ....... discuss at ixda.org
> Unsubscribe ................ http://www.ixda.org/unsubscribe
> List Guidelines ............ http://www.ixda.org/guidelines
> List Help .................. http://www.ixda.org/help
>

--
Stewart Dean

13 Nov 2007 - 12:57pm
Cliff Williams
2007

Two quotes that have always stuck with me in my design-life--they seem
to capture the end and means of good design:

"Make everything as simple as possible, but not simpler."
(Einstein)
"Writing is rewriting." (Hemingway)

I'm also fond of another Hemingway quote:
"I write one page of masterpiece to ninety one pages of shit...I try
to put the shit in the wastebasket.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Posted from the new ixda.org
http://gamma.ixda.org/discuss?post=22431

13 Nov 2007 - 1:56pm
Robert Hoekman, Jr.
2005

>
> I'm also fond of another Hemingway quote:
> "I write one page of masterpiece to ninety one pages of shit...I try
> to put the shit in the wastebasket.

Another good Hemingway quote is something like ...
"Write the story, take out all the good lines, and see if it still works."

He's talking about writing, but it very much applies to design as well.

-r-

13 Nov 2007 - 4:34pm
Jens Meiert
2004

> "Make everything as simple as possible, but not simpler."

That is indeed an awesome quote, both so true and challenging.

--
Jens Meiert
http://meiert.com/en/

13 Nov 2007 - 7:03pm
Robert Hoekman, Jr.
2005

Great question, btw. It occurred to me I haven't actually answered it, only
offered a Hemingway quote. So here's my list.

1) Challenge standards, all the time, every time, because they can always be
improved. This includes design and process standards.

2) Never, ever stop asking questions (What does this mean? Where can I learn
more? What if we changed this color? How can this label be better? etc.).
Somewhere underneath all those questions is some illuminating truth that you
can learn from and use in the future.

3) Never be afraid to make decisions. All decisions are temporary. Make
them, and be willing to be wrong. The only way to get better is to learn
from your mistakes and accept that you're only as good as you can be in any
given moment.

4) Always be your own worst critic, and never stop critiquing your own
work. Great work is the result of a whole lot of bad work.

5) Find fault in every design. There's always something wrong. There's
always something that can be improved. Find it, and obsess over fixing it.
(Of course, to temper this, you should also be sure to praise valiant
efforts, treat people well, give credit where credit is due, etc.)

6) Solve for the moment. (
http://rhjr.net/theblog/2007/11/05/solve-for-the-moment/)

I'm sure there's more, but that's the heart of it, I think.

-r-

14 Nov 2007 - 3:14am
rbanks
2007

Not sure these are tenets, but I like Dieter Rams "10 Commandments"...

Good design is...

Innovative
Useful
Aesthetic
Self-explanatory
Unobtrusive
Honest
Durable
Thorough
Environmentally-friendly
As little design as possible

http://vitsoe.com/ten_commandments.php

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