Why Design Matters (Hint: It’s Not Just Looking Good)

Why Design Matters (Hint: It’s Not Just Looking Good)


When people think of design, they usually think of how something looks. Everyone likes a nice visual, naturally, but there’s also a perception that visuals are superficial - think form vs. function, style vs. substance. But focusing just on a shiny wrapper is missing the fundamentals about what design is. Done right, it’s not a give and take between form vs. function. It’s form, enabling function.

Think of walking into a clean, well-organized workspace, where you can easily find what you need and you have plenty of space. Now imagine walking into that same workspace, but this time it’s packed tight with random furniture and every flat surface is piled high with old documents, scattered notes that would probably be useful if you could get them all in one place, and junk mail that nobody bothered to throw out yet. If you’re like most people, you’d much rather work in the first version. It’s a more functional space that allows you to be more functional, and is set up to let you do what you need to do. And, it just feels better.

Good interface design is like the software equivalent of that first room, creating a useful space for you to get what you need. At its core, thoughtful design is about what you’re trying to accomplish, and how to get you there. It’s not so much about “does it looks nice,” but rather “does it work well.” The visuals are important too, of course, but less integral. The look and feel is the paint; the design is the actual house.

All of which is a long lead-in to say: we’ve remodeled our house, and we’re very excited about it.


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