Design Fundamentals Part 1

Design Fundamentals Part 1

To all those who are reading this content, which consists of information gathered from various sources, particularly aimed at the designers working with us at Wish Work and those who will join us in the future, we sincerely hope that this blog will assist you in developing a deeper and more creative understanding. Whether you're involved in designing a product, a service, or anything else intended to help people find what they want and need, our aim is to inspire you.

What is design?

Now, let's delve into the concept of design. Similar to art, defining design in a single statement has proven to be challenging for experts. Design, at its core, is an interdisciplinary concept that draws upon fields such as psychology, sociology, culture, science, economy, and more. It has evolved into various specialized fields like decoration, automotive design, game design, strategic design, packaging design, transportation design, service design, industrial design, and many others. Understanding the origin of the notion of design is crucial, and you can find valuable insights in the design section of the book "Design Dictionary: Perspectives on Design Terminology".

Also watch this video to get brief understanding: What is Design.

As a designer, having a diverse range of knowledge can be beneficial. However, the prospect of knowing everything can be overwhelming. Remember the words of John Carmack: "You don't have to learn everything but convince yourself you can learn anything."
When we discuss design, particularly in the context of online products or services, we primarily focus on the user's perspective. A well-designed product should address a specific problem. To begin designing a product, it is essential to ask important questions:
Who is the target audience for this product? Designing a product that truly resonates with users can only be achieved when the executive team, including the designer, understands the users and consistently puts themselves in their shoes.
What are the users' needs? If you are collaborating with a client who already has an idea in mind, they usually have answers to this question. It's crucial to encourage them to share this information with the executive team. In cases where it's not a client's project, conducting thorough research, surveys, and questionnaires can help uncover the users' needs.
How can we solve their problem with this product? This step can be challenging, as there are countless ways to solve a problem. It's important to listen attentively to both the client and your team. Listening to your team involves considering their expertise and the ideas they contribute during brainstorming sessions. Listening to the client, on the other hand, entails analyzing their brand and becoming familiar with their preferences and values through meetings.
By gathering the necessary information, considering the project's timeline and budget, you can work towards developing a unique approach to solving the problem at hand.

Human Feelings

One of the most crucial aspects designers grapple with throughout the product design journey is understanding human feelings and behaviors. This knowledge forms the foundation of a designer's skill set.

When asked about how he came up with the pattern language, Christopher Alexander responded:
"Well, it was not so very different from any other kind of science. My colleagues and I made observations, looked to see what worked, studied it, tried to distill out the essentials, and wrote them down. We did do one thing differently. We assumed from the beginning that everything was based on the real nature of human feeling and -this is the unusual part that human feeling is mostly the same,
mostly the same from person to person, mostly the same in every person. Of course there is that part of human feeling where we are all different. Each of us has our idiosyncrasies, our unique individual human character. That is the part people most often concentrate on when they are talking about feelings, and comparing feelings. But that idiosyncratic part is really only about ten percent of the feelings which we feel. Ninety percent of our feelings is stuff in which we are all the same and we feel the same things. So, from the very beginning, when we made the pattern language, we concentrated on that fact, and concentrated on that part of human experience and feeling where our feeling is all the same. That is what the pattern language is - a record of that stuff in us, which belongs to the ninety percent of our feeling, where our feelings are all the same." When I said this, a sort of cry went up, people shouted and clapped again, stood up and cheered. Then dimly I began to understand why they had been clapping when I first came forward. What they saw in me was a voice saying that our shared human feeling has been forgot- ten, hidden in the mess of opinion and personal differences. What people find, and what moves them, in al the work which my colleagues and I have been doing for so many years, is that we have tried to honor and respect the reality of this huge ocean - this ninety percent of ourself in which our feelings are all alike. The fact that this huge basis, this huge ocean, has been forgotten and has, perhaps, in my own works been reawakened - that is what brought them there that day to see that film, that is what made them stand up and shout."
(The Nature of Order - Christopher Alexander)

get know better Christopher Alexander here

When designers concentrate on the aspects of human experience and feeling that are common to all, they can create designs that connect on a deeper level and have a more profound impact. It involves creating designs that evoke positive emotions, establish a sense of familiarity, and foster a strong connection with the users.
Christopher Alexander's quote reminds designers to focus on the shared human experience and tap into the universal aspects of human feelings when designing. It emphasizes the importance of designing for emotions, creating designs that resonate with people, and ultimately enhancing the user's overall experience and satisfaction.

The Author
Tina Banayi
Tina Banayi
May 27, 2023

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