Good Design Is Still about Doing Good Work

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Joe Duffy’s “Demystifying Design: An Argument for Simplicity” is a great little piece that calls out Design like it should be. Here is my favorite bit:

What is design? It begins with ideas–ideas based in purpose. It requires a plan or a process. It yields innovation, invention or creation. It is successful if it elicits response–attention, desire, interaction or purchase.

Design is as much a process as it is an end product. The process should be simple.

After all my years in design, I remain wary of the branding and design consultancies that sell the strategic process before the work. The work should speak for itself. Did it deliver on its objectives? Did it break through in the market? Did people vote with interest, conversation, interaction or purchase? Was it beautiful? That’s what really matters.


Honestly it’s simple. The best talent understands that. Rarely does the most extensive or unique “process” produce the simple insights necessary to do more than document a situation. The proof is in the pudding. Talented designers create it.

I had a recent discussion with a talented designer that had a few years of experience under his belt. He was full of passion and, as expected, impatient. He wanted more out of his design career and decided on a Masters in Design Strategy. The advice I gave him echoes this quote.

If you want to learn about Design Strategy, join a great company that is an advocate of Design and work your butt off! That’s because the best way to show the world the strength of your design strategies is through your work.

Check out the rest of Joe’s excellent post on Fast Company.

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