13 Jun 2012
Originality is a myth. Not one of us can create anything ex nihilo – out of nothing. We all have to be acutely aware of how easy it is to be a stylist rather than a designer, following the latest hot trends or display techniques. But it’s equally important that we are careful not to choose a new design technique because we’re afraid of using a method or design pattern that is tried and true or just simply really well thought out. A great example is rounded corners. Rounded corners can be a style, but before they are a style they are a philosophy. Corners are rounded on physical products so that they are comfortable to hold and handle. An interface can emulate that and make a design easy on the eyes, creating a suspended disbelief in the realism of a digital interface. Don’t round your corners or not round your corners because of a style choice, make a decision based on how you can best serve your audience the content they want.
When we are designing anything we should be asking ourselves how we can best serve the customer or the audience and then use the standard principles of design to execute on that service. Use a grid. Use clear hierarchy. Use color, line, form, and texture. Use space. Use movement. Whatever you use, use it with the intention of serving the people who will use and benefit from the content your design is serving up. If you’re struggling to make a decision with your client or with your team, simply ask each other which decision best provides quality for the customer.
I suggest discussing these topics over the following: