What is good design?
Good design is not just what looks good. It also needs to perform, convert, astonish, and fulfill its purpose for which its made. It can be innovative creative or it might just get the job done for which its designed.
A good design cannot be measured by a finite way – multiple perspectives are needed.
Inspired by Dieter Rams, I've long kept a list of what I think good design is.
It is ever expanding and some things are more important in some projects than other. Below is how my list looks right now – greatly inspired by Dieter Rams, but focused more on online design, web and seo design.
Good design is innovative
Innovative design can both be a break-through product or service, and a redesign of an existing product or service. A break-through product adds a before unseen value and function to the market and the user, while a redesign improves an existing product.
Innovative design always develops in tandem with innovative technology, and can never be an end in itself.
Good design is functional
Useful design fills its intended function – and likely both a primary and secondary function. A useful design solves problems and through its design it optimizes a given functionality.
Good design makes a product useful
“It has to satisfy certain criteria, not only functional, but also psychological and aesthetic. Good design emphasises the usefulness of a product whilst disregarding anything that could possibly detract from it.”
Good design is aesthetic
An aesthetic product has an inherent power of being able to fascinate and immediately appeals to its users senses.
“Only well-executed objects can be beautiful. The aesthetic quality of a product is integral to its usefulness because products used every day have an effect on people and their well-being.”
A good design is intuitive
Intuitive design explains itself and makes a user manual unnecessary. A design makes how to use, perceive, and understand a product obvious. A good design explains its function.
“It clarifies the product’s structure. Better still, it can make the product clearly express its function by making use of the user’s intuition. At best, it is self-explanatory.”