qualifiedThe most annoying thing about the iOS design discussion has been the willingness of intelligent, insightful commentators to say that they are “not designers”. They think their opinion on a design can’t be as valid as actual fancy-pants designers in the “design community”.

Unfortunately, some designers revel in this attention and will gladly comment on things, as if they are the grand arbiters of taste and only THEY know why this or that is “wrong”. Only they can put it right…


It kills me to hear designers who are so full of themselves. So sure of their own opinions and taste that they can deride designs and call them “wrong” (just because they don’t agree with a style or colour choice).

As a designer, I know that designers should be CONSTANTLY questioning their own opinions, choices and world view.

We should NEVER be confident in the work or choices we have made just because WE like it. We are designing for other people, not ourselves (or our community of like minded hipsters) and we should never forget that.

Designers who are not involved in a particular project should, at the very least, be able to appreciate many different scenarios for that project’s design. We, more than anyone, should be able to understand that something may not be perfect for our pet scenario, but it may work in a whole bunch of other ways we haven’t considered.

If a design seems superficially “wrong” to us BUT there are a multitude of reasons why it is like it is, (AND people can use and enjoy it) is the designer right to still cry out that it’s “wrong” or “so, so bad” because they don’t like it? Just because THEY are a designer too and have a more valid opinion, don’t you know?

And then there are our own designs. Which we like to show off to other people in “the design community”.

Showing off is the stink surrounding modern graphic design. We have so many relatively easy-to-use programs readily available to us, and this makes some designers feel they need to push their skills TO THE MAX, making something with ALL the bells and whistles.

Why? To make sure they are still heralded as PROPER designers?

It’s got to stop.

Simplicity and the unexpected are not things to fear. Us designers just need to THINK more and simplify rather than adding complexity to justify our skill set. Think about the actual job a design is doing. Think about the user. Think about the usage scenarios. Don’t just impress your community of design friends with your taste and Illustrator skills.

So if you are an intelligent, thoughtful human being, YOU are just as qualified (if not more so) to examine and criticise and understand a design as we designers are!


Comments are closed.