“It's all just Design!”

Nov 10, 04:16 PM

Part of the “design” paradigm is the recognition of a “ménage à trois”: the designer, the client, the intended user.

And of course the legend goes: the designer works for the user, the happy user pays the client and the client pays the designer back. But this is just one side of the strory.

This is the side of the story that has been made popular through trends such as disruptive and design thinking and the core of IxD. And contrary to what I’ve read here IxD inherits from this designerly perspective of client-inclusive design process FOR the user. This is the legend designers are being formatted with, which makes them prone to critic and clients’ misunderstanding. This is a valuable approach though, innovation-wise.

The other side of the story is: “the client pays to make decisions not for the designer to”. And I think this is ok. Actually, UX and other human factor engineering disciplines alike were born from the necessity to “humanize” fool-proofness, productivity and efficiency. In this consideration, UX has NO “dark” side providing that it stems from an industrial necessity and some other necessity to make “handles fit the human hand”. This is what makes this other approach also valuable.

Today all these practices have converged. So, I think the point is not what a designer can, wants or expects to do, but rather what is required to help the project move forward.

At some point, every project will demand a disruptive solution, requiring designers to be able to leverage user enquiry and experience feed-back to expose and reveal never seen before interaction patterns and settings: hardcore IxD. At some other point, usability and understanding become critical to get accross to the user. UX is then needed to shape interaction in the best “assimilable” and predictable way from the user’s point of view.

Both processes require creativity and both are simply put: design principles 101 – disruption and convergence, ideation and materialization and a whole bunch of other stuff we grew up to be really fed up with, but are still pretty valid.

Well, there you are! Beyond IxD, UX etc. there’s just our good old design process _

This article is a comment originally posted on April 9 as part of the discussion “From GUI to UI to Usability to IA to UX. What’s next?” started by Paul Bryan on March 27, 2011.

Lalao HM. Rakotoniaina