Common misunderstandings about designing

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Some people misunderstand what designing is.

The confusion comes from this, ‘Design is what it looks’. Those people only look at the form of something. Okay, you have two eyes and you are telling me what you see. But, there surely is a lot more than just seeing in design.

I do not prefer to mension a ‘visual’, when I am talking about design. Because, if I start with ‘visual’ at the beginning, people automatically think of the whole concept as ‘seeing’ or a ‘feature’ thing. Design is visual communication. Visuals are absolutely necessary such as lines, colours, whatever shapes, etc.

But, those things play a role in presenting an idea with intention.

To simplify this misunderstanding, design is about ‘seeing’ and we designers ‘draw’ it.

So, a problem often occurs by people asking at work, “Exactly how long does it take to finish?” They expect that I may answer how many HOURS it will take. Sometimes, I cynically answered “Yeah, it normally takes 8 hours 46 minutes and 51 seconds, is this what you want?”

Designing is not coloring and painting activity using a computer. Actually, if everything is clear, those take a short time. I need much more time for figuring out, understanding, getting to know, sketching on paper, and then will hold my mouse to start.

Design is not the process of assembling the parts into a complete unit.

And another misconception is with this situation.

“I have an idea in mind(really?), I can tell you(Oh, no), now you can draw it instead of me(What??).” It doesn’t mean we are working together. In fact, I only help the plan to be materialised from a graphic program. We unofficially call the position, ‘photoshop labourer’. They may take the project when I’m done, and bring it to a boss. And they believe they’re done and I only helped a little.

If you can’t picture it, it does not exist. Talking still gives a brief idea, but not yet ready to be an actualisation. If someone cannot picture what the idea is in any documentable way such as in full writing (can be), a sketch (not a couple of tortuous lines!), or a Power Point file (the best way, officially), the person DOES NOT KNOW anything. Talking is not sufficient to settle on design, you need to put the plan into some proofs, which you have thought about deeply.

In addition,

don’t be a judge in front of design. What gives you the right? (Probably yourself) Do you really have that great an insight? (Experts say less, but show more) Some people are confused between their taste for art and opinion for the project. Tell me your thoughts, not your color-taste.

The purpose of design is not to create a pretty picture. It is a language, a way to communicate through whatever it is presenting. So, designing is more like ‘experiment’ and ‘study’, not ‘seeing’ and ‘feature’.

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