When’s the last time you saw some quirky looking furniture and people called it a designer piece? Or an impractical piece of kitchenware? An uncomfortable couch? Oftentimes, the general public has no perception of what the job of design actually is. That’s unfortunate, but OK. What’s worse is that many in our own industry don’t understand what their core job is. Overly specific job titles and niche tasks are only amplifying that problem. No matter what kind of designer you are, the relevant approach and core skill set should always be the same. It’s just the mastery of a domain, a set of techniques and constraints, that differ. That core skill is communication. Sure, there are many other aspects that are relevant in design. Design should sell. Design should beautify. But above all, design is the intentional transfer of a message, through a certain medium, to a specified audience. Knowing this, and the basics of communication theory, is key to good design. It’s the foundation of what we know as human centered design. If it’s not clear what you’re trying to say you’re just making art. Let’s look at the premise of communication for design and what this means for your day-to-day as a designer. We’ll explore how you can use this knowledge to your advantage throughout various stages of the design process. A simple framework is all you need to set your designs up for success.
I’m a Berlin based senior UX designer, strategic thinker, researcher, writer and by degree actually engineer. Also co-host of AX Summit and obsessed with the future human-machine relationship we’re building. On my journey, I moved all over Germany, but also Hong Kong and Ethiopia, where I learned to love the power of people and diversity of all kinds. I feel most at home in the uncertain, worked on AR and design systems, and am now exploring the prospects of AI and the management of design teams – feels about equally complicated.
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