Design Think Again

I fucking hate the word "design". I have no idea what it means. Well, I have an idea - but my idea doesn't fit with how others use it.


I got a newsletter from O'Reilley that linked to an article on design and chatUI. It states:

There’s still a design process

The “no UI” buzz may sound worrying to designers, but “no UI” is a misnomer. Conversational UIs are interfaces, just — well — conversational. (..) The role for intuitive design in conversational UIs is even more important without any visual affordances to fall back on.

So graphic designers are now going to make the chatUI flow? Or is it the interface designers? This piece is written by a UX designer, so I guess he means those designers. But I have no idea what THAT is.

Well, I reason that it's someone who designs user experiences, which you can't really do. It's like feeling design or thought design. The user experience is out of reach from the designer, so you're not designing it, you must be designing something else. Like the graphics, the interface or the system.

And all these depend on the common "design", which I'm not sure I get. If I try to get an idea by reading Wikipedia, I'm not much helped:

Design is the creation of a plan or convention for the construction of an object or a system

So basically any time you plan ANYTHING it's designing.


(By the way, the Wikipedia page on design lists architecture as a discipline. Architecture retorts by stating that architecture is:

both the process and the product of planning, designing, and constructing buildings and other physical structures

but since designing is both the result and planning of ANYTHING, and since an architect isn't the one constructing a building - those would be the constructors, you could actually just shorten it to: "Architecture is designing buildings", but guess they wouldn't like that.

So even the disciplines of design has no idea what design means, but it's a positive word, so let's throw it in there.

Oh, and if you really want to agonize yourself, read the wikipedia page on design thinking.

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