What is Design? – My Perception

I want to create beautiful, functional user experiences and not just another website.

Though lot of resources have pointed me to HTML/CSS as the first piece to a self-learner’s roadmap, I have found that a good grasp of design theory is essential to create such beautiful and functional user experiences. When it comes to design theory, there are two concepts that I need to learn,

1. Elements of Design

2. Principles of Design

Before I go on to learn about these two, I wanted to have a clear definition of what is design? That kind of felt like the logical first avenue to explore, and off I went to Genius Google to ask the rhetorical question, “What is design?”

What is design?

And, this is what I got! I couldn’t stop there and wanted to understand it a bit more and by all means, be able to define it on my own terms. So, I have done a little research in an attempt to define and convey what I perceive design is!

Design is everything. Everything!

~ Paul Rand

Design is everywhere and in everything. You can see design in everything starting from your coffee in the morning to the plushness of your bed at night. My search for a definition was fruitless because design is such an integral part of everything around us. Design can be described in innumerable ways. I have attempted to list some below,

Design is Art. Design is beautiful. Design is creativity. Design is useful. Design is making things better. Design is Emotion. Design is Simple, Clear and Efficient.

After going through a plethora of information, I perceive Design as the interpretation of an idea to create anything which is useful. And, that anything can literally be anything from your mobile to a missile, your business card to a blockbuster movie, your tweet to a greeting card or even your breakfast to a bus time-table.

Design is useful and beautiful at the same time. Design is not the glossy surface but it is the underlying effort which makes the content and form to work together creating an illusion of effortlessness.

With knowledge comes the need to judge and that set me to think about good design. So, what can be judged as a good design. I have just two points on this,

1. Good design is about the user and not the designer. According to iA’s Oliver Reichenstein, Good design is invisible.. And his vision is to “Reduce to the essence.”

2. Good design creates beautiful solutions that work.

This is purely a compilation of my opinions and perception on what design is based on my research conducted through Genius Google. I encourage you to comment and express your views on the same.