Criteria?

25 Jan 2008 - 2:04pm
6 years ago
20 replies
640 reads
Mark Schraad
2006

So Dave,

Only because I know that you don't mind being put on the spot. How do you define who is a designer? What are the criteria?

Mark

On Friday, January 25, 2008, at 10:57AM, "dave malouf" <dave at ixda.org> wrote:

>Sure, (Kumbaya!) we are all "D"esigners, great! (I actually think
>that most of us aren't designers, btw, but that's a separate
>topic).

Comments

25 Jan 2008 - 9:57pm
Dave Malouf
2005

1) People who have worked in and have been trained in the processes around
studio/crit
* this could be anyone who has either gone to a design school, or figured
out on their own to learn what is learned in a design school, or gained the
experience of design school studio through vocational experience.

2) People who practice multi-linear, exploration as their creative practice,
as opposed to linear thinking

I'll stop there.

To me the question is annoying. Why? b/c so much of the question is already
couched in this assumption that "everyone is a designer"; The engineer, the
banker, my grandmother, etc.

It is also a trap b/c "design" is such a nothing term, so to use the term
"design" by itself, is meaningless. The contexts are important.

So in my mind, most interactive designers are not designers, in that they
actually apply aesthetic treatments usually using techniques that are
derived from engineering practices more than from the traditional design
school processes. Yes, there is room for hybrids in this world and we should
always be willing to take the best of everything we can expose ourselves to,
but I believe there is something at the core of design practice, methods,
education, and systems that is worth holding on to.

design != creation or creativity

-- dave

On Jan 25, 2008 2:04 PM, Mark Schraad <mschraad at mac.com> wrote:

> So Dave,
>
> Only because I know that you don't mind being put on the spot. How do you
> define who is a designer? What are the criteria?
>
> Mark
>
>
>
> On Friday, January 25, 2008, at 10:57AM, "dave malouf" <dave at ixda.org>
> wrote:
>
> >Sure, (Kumbaya!) we are all "D"esigners, great! (I actually think
> >that most of us aren't designers, btw, but that's a separate
> >topic).
>
>

--
David Malouf
http://synapticburn.com/
http://ixda.org/
http://motorola.com/

26 Jan 2008 - 8:18am
Alexander Baxevanis
2007

On Jan 26, 2008 2:57 AM, David Malouf <dave at ixda.org> wrote:
> 1) People who have worked in and have been trained in the processes around
> studio/crit
> * this could be anyone who has either gone to a design school, or figured
> out on their own to learn what is learned in a design school, or gained the
> experience of design school studio through vocational experience.

Hi David,

not coming from such background, I don't think I've experienced to a
great extent what you mention above, so I am quite interested to find
out what is this mysterious "studio/critique" process and how it
benefits a designer. Could you write something more on this, or do you
have any references that you could point me to?

Thanks,
Alex

26 Jan 2008 - 9:02am
Mark Schraad
2006

Thanks David. I agree that design is a 'nothingness term' but it is
also critically important if you are to define 'interaction design'
for the non-designer world. Having looked at about a hundred resumes
in the last 6 months for UI designer, interaction designers and
information architects, way less than 15% have been in my opinion
qualified for the jobs I had in mind. Yet they all applied for what
are obviously (to me) 'design' positions. Less than 5% actually
attended any sort of design school. So I kind of agree that defining
design is mostly an academic endeavor.

That being said... here is how I believe the world (outside of the
industry) would define design:

A designer is a person the arranges elements in a final order for a
specific purpose. Those elements can be visual, physical or
conceptual. The designer develops a strategy either prior to or while
executing this arrangement.

A professional designer is one who generates their livelihood by
designing.

Qualifications:

Has been trained by a designer
Has attended design school
Has experience designing
Has achieved a level of quality consistent with the medium or domain
Proclaims themselves a designer
Displays a creative tendency
Bought a Mac (kidding)

As we work to further educate our audience and bring ourselves into
some consistency of message this bears keeping in mind. MBA's,
engineers, executives, HR people and biz dev people do not see
themselves as designers, but in this sense they often are. The do
however see themselves as qualified to make many many design decisions.

Mark

On Jan 25, 2008, at 9:57 PM, David Malouf wrote:

> 1) People who have worked in and have been trained in the processes
> around
> studio/crit
> * this could be anyone who has either gone to a design school, or
> figured
> out on their own to learn what is learned in a design school, or
> gained the
> experience of design school studio through vocational experience.
>
> 2) People who practice multi-linear, exploration as their creative
> practice,
> as opposed to linear thinking
>
> I'll stop there.
>
> To me the question is annoying. Why? b/c so much of the question is
> already
> couched in this assumption that "everyone is a designer"; The
> engineer, the
> banker, my grandmother, etc.
>
> It is also a trap b/c "design" is such a nothing term, so to use
> the term
> "design" by itself, is meaningless. The contexts are important.
>
> So in my mind, most interactive designers are not designers, in
> that they
> actually apply aesthetic treatments usually using techniques that are
> derived from engineering practices more than from the traditional
> design
> school processes. Yes, there is room for hybrids in this world and
> we should
> always be willing to take the best of everything we can expose
> ourselves to,
> but I believe there is something at the core of design practice,
> methods,
> education, and systems that is worth holding on to.
>
> design != creation or creativity
>
> -- dave
>
>
> On Jan 25, 2008 2:04 PM, Mark Schraad <mschraad at mac.com> wrote:
>
>> So Dave,
>>
>> Only because I know that you don't mind being put on the spot. How
>> do you
>> define who is a designer? What are the criteria?
>>
>> Mark
>>
>>
>>
>> On Friday, January 25, 2008, at 10:57AM, "dave malouf"
>> <dave at ixda.org>
>> wrote:
>>
>>> Sure, (Kumbaya!) we are all "D"esigners, great! (I actually think
>>> that most of us aren't designers, btw, but that's a separate
>>> topic).
>>
>>
>
>
> --
> David Malouf
> http://synapticburn.com/
> http://ixda.org/
> http://motorola.com/
> ________________________________________________________________
> *Come to IxDA Interaction08 | Savannah*
> February 8-10, 2008 in Savannah, GA, USA
> Register today: http://interaction08.ixda.org/
>
> ________________________________________________________________
> Welcome to the Interaction Design Association (IxDA)!
> To post to this list ....... discuss at ixda.org
> Unsubscribe ................ http://www.ixda.org/unsubscribe
> List Guidelines ............ http://www.ixda.org/guidelines
> List Help .................. http://www.ixda.org/help

26 Jan 2008 - 9:53am
.pauric
2006

I like your definition Mark, this might be something of a nuance but I
dont see the creative aspect in "A designer is a person the arranges
elements in a final order for a specific purpose." In my
experience, thats lay-out, a design subset.

Again, small point but I'd prefer to see this put as "A designer is
a person who chooses and arranges elements in a final order for a
specific purpose."

Or if we were to take this a step further to capture good design.

"A designer is a person who understands the necessary elements and
arranges them in a final order for a specific purpose."

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Posted from the new ixda.org
http://www.ixda.org/discuss?post=25127

26 Jan 2008 - 10:00am
Mark Schraad
2006

I think I agree Pauric. I spent a lot of time thinking about the
understanding/strategy (what we as designer most identify with) or
the action/artifact, which is what I believe non-designers would
relate most to. I also struggled with the linear implication of the
word 'order' but could not find a better substitute.

On Jan 26, 2008, at 1:53 AM, pauric wrote:

> I like your definition Mark, this might be something of a nuance but I
> dont see the creative aspect in "A designer is a person the arranges
> elements in a final order for a specific purpose." In my
> experience, thats lay-out, a design subset.
>
> Again, small point but I'd prefer to see this put as "A designer is
> a person who chooses and arranges elements in a final order for a
> specific purpose."
>
> Or if we were to take this a step further to capture good design.
>
> "A designer is a person who understands the necessary elements and
> arranges them in a final order for a specific purpose."
>
>
> . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
> Posted from the new ixda.org
> http://www.ixda.org/discuss?post=25127
>
>
> ________________________________________________________________
> *Come to IxDA Interaction08 | Savannah*
> February 8-10, 2008 in Savannah, GA, USA
> Register today: http://interaction08.ixda.org/
>
> ________________________________________________________________
> Welcome to the Interaction Design Association (IxDA)!
> To post to this list ....... discuss at ixda.org
> Unsubscribe ................ http://www.ixda.org/unsubscribe
> List Guidelines ............ http://www.ixda.org/guidelines
> List Help .................. http://www.ixda.org/help

26 Jan 2008 - 11:28am
Dave Malouf
2005

On Jan 26, 2008 9:02 AM, Mark Schraad <mschraad at mac.com> wrote:

> A designer is a person the arranges elements in a final order for a
> specific purpose. Those elements can be visual, physical or
> conceptual. The designer develops a strategy either prior to or while
> executing this arrangement.
>

Ack!!!!
Being a designer is not focused on the artifacts or decisions we make. That
is focusing way too much on craft. Being a designer is about HOW! we make
those artifacts & the decisions we make.

By your definition above, anyone who does any sort of creativity is a
designer. There is more to it than that.

> A professional designer is one who generates their livelihood by
> designing.
>
> Qualifications:
>
> Has been trained by a designer
> Has attended design school
> Has experience designing
> Has achieved a level of quality consistent with the medium or domain
> Proclaims themselves a designer
> Displays a creative tendency
> Bought a Mac (kidding)

Talk about USELESS. What's the point? I especially like (NOT) the inclusion
of "Proclaims themselves a designer".

> As we work to further educate our audience and bring ourselves into
> some consistency of message this bears keeping in mind. MBA's,
> engineers, executives, HR people and biz dev people do not see
> themselves as designers, but in this sense they often are. The do
> however see themselves as qualified to make many many design decisions.

Yes, and this is a problem b/c
1) they lack foundational education in both craft and theory
2) it devalues the true expertise of those who ARE designers
3) it leads to bad design

Being a collaborator and contributor in a design process does not make one a
designer. The fact that these people are making "design decisions" is
usually a sign of corporate cultural flaws more than a sign of "innovation"
or "design thinking" taking hold in the organization.

--
David Malouf
http://synapticburn.com/
http://ixda.org/
http://motorola.com/

26 Jan 2008 - 11:41am
Dave Malouf
2005

On Jan 26, 2008 8:18 AM, Alexander Baxevanis <alex.baxevanis at gmail.com>
wrote:

> On Jan 26, 2008 2:57 AM, David Malouf <dave at ixda.org> wrote:
> > 1) People who have worked in and have been trained in the processes
> around
> > studio/crit
> > * this could be anyone who has either gone to a design school, or
> figured
> > out on their own to learn what is learned in a design school, or gained
> the
> > experience of design school studio through vocational experience.
>
> Hi David,
>
> not coming from such background, I don't think I've experienced to a
> great extent what you mention above, so I am quite interested to find
> out what is this mysterious "studio/critique" process and how it
> benefits a designer. Could you write something more on this, or do you
> have any references that you could point me to?
>

A fair question ...
[Disclaimer, my experience with studio/critique is not formal, but only
exists in the corporate sphere. I've been told that it is a good example.
I've also taken 2 studio classes; but I have gone out of my way to try to
bring these methods and processes into other facets of my design practice,
and constantly look for mentors who are instructors in these processes, more
than I do ones that are experts in other areas.]

Studio is a place without walls.
Studio is a philosophy of open collaboration "w/o asking permission"
Studio is public display of ongoing work (among designers)
Studio has expert or master guidance
Studio uses the artistic review process of "critique" as opposed to
"evaluation".
Studio is the presentation of multiple ideas in plain site, in progress.
Studio is constantly sketching during all phases of design and development
Studio is a big brainstorming bubble

Evaluation: Send someone a sample of your work and they send you back a
laundry list of what is wrong, why and if you are lucky how to improve it.

Critique: is a real time review of designs, among peers (fellow designers),
who not only evaluate (aka judge your designs), but most certainly begin a
short process of co-designing. It is often expert led, but everyone is
involved at all levels of critique and analysis and contribution. The goal
is to give guidance, not to give answers (except where the designers come
asking for explicit help. The other goal is to elicit further exploration by
increasing cerebral participation.

Ok, I think that is as far as I can take this.

David Armano has this great blog post (way in his archives) on "What I
learned in Design School." it was one of the first things I read that really
taught me that my grassroots, mostly technical background, was REALLY
missing something.

In conversations with my former head of Innovation & Design Studio here at
Motorola Enterprise Mobility, he also had the same critique of the UX
community-that our lack of formal studio education really puts us at a
disadvantage. He also said that only through full-time education can you
REALLY experience the benefits of studio education. This last point I'm
trying to prove him wrong on. ;-) His thinking though is that unless you are
locked in a studio with open workstations 15 hours a day, 7 days a week like
you are in an ID Program, you really will have a hard time working in a
professional industry studio. Most of us actually don't work in studios at
all. In 15 years, this is the first time I have ever worked in one. And in
my travels (I think I've been exposed to a lot of stuff), rarely have I seen
studios in the software community, including in the agency community, etc.
design agencies. Advertising agencies usually don't have studios. (I'm sure
I'm going to get flooded with exceptions. I'm sure yours is just great!)

-- dave

--
David Malouf
http://synapticburn.com/
http://ixda.org/
http://motorola.com/

26 Jan 2008 - 12:27pm
Mark Schraad
2006

On Jan 26, 2008, at 11:28 AM, David Malouf wrote:

> On Jan 26, 2008 9:02 AM, Mark Schraad <mschraad at mac.com> wrote:
>
>
>> A designer is a person the arranges elements in a final order for a
>> specific purpose. Those elements can be visual, physical or
>> conceptual. The designer develops a strategy either prior to or while
>> executing this arrangement.
>>
>>
>
> Ack!!!!
> Being a designer is not focused on the artifacts or decisions we
> make. That
> is focusing way too much on craft. Being a designer is about HOW!
> we make
> those artifacts & the decisions we make.
>

If being a designer is mostly about process, then how will we ever
progress?

In fact, a major outcome of the design thinking movement is the
export of methods and tools to areas outside of what is traditionally
considered design. This is a dangerous component to hitch our wagon
to. Buying design, or deciding that design is important, at the upper
level, based upon process is a mistake. Your 'exclusive patent
pending branded process' is snake oil... unless of course you plan
on solving the same problem over and over. At the moment process is
still a sellable concept, but I believe its shelf life to be fairly
short. Routinized solutions do not help to appropriately position
what we do. It will actually help to make designers and design a
commodity. Personally, I never want to join a local design union.

>
> By your definition above, anyone who does any sort of creativity is a
> designer. There is more to it than that.
>
>

I did pen these words, but based them upon reading many many
definitions submitted by non-designers.

>
>
>> A professional designer is one who generates their livelihood by
>> designing.
>>
>> Qualifications:
>>
>> Has been trained by a designer
>> Has attended design school
>> Has experience designing
>> Has achieved a level of quality consistent with the medium or domain
>> Proclaims themselves a designer
>> Displays a creative tendency
>> Bought a Mac (kidding)
>>
>
>
> Talk about USELESS. What's the point? I especially like (NOT) the
> inclusion
> of "Proclaims themselves a designer".
>

Agreed. But this is the reality of our field. There are an awful lot
of these working in a professional capacity - even those who just
'bought a mac'.

>
>
>> As we work to further educate our audience and bring ourselves into
>> some consistency of message this bears keeping in mind. MBA's,
>> engineers, executives, HR people and biz dev people do not see
>> themselves as designers, but in this sense they often are. The do
>> however see themselves as qualified to make many many design
>> decisions.
>>
>
>
> Yes, and this is a problem b/c
> 1) they lack foundational education in both craft and theory
> 2) it devalues the true expertise of those who ARE designers
> 3) it leads to bad design
>
> Being a collaborator and contributor in a design process does not
> make one a
> designer. The fact that these people are making "design decisions" is
> usually a sign of corporate cultural flaws more than a sign of
> "innovation"
> or "design thinking" taking hold in the organization.
>

Look at the roster of designers at IDEO, Cooper, Razorfish... and so
many other firms. If you look up their qualifications, you will find
lots of very qualified people doing great work that do not have a
formal design education. Lots of good professional designers do NOT
have deep theory or a craft background. This is not an component that
is required (but I would agree that it has a huge upside) no matter
how much we wish it so. And, it can be learned in a good work
environment. Frankly, I believe that foundation skills are much
easier to teach in a working environment than user/customer empathy
and market vision.

26 Jan 2008 - 12:37pm
Adrian Howard
2005

On 26 Jan 2008, at 16:41, David Malouf wrote:
[snip]
> Studio is a place without walls.
> Studio is a philosophy of open collaboration "w/o asking permission"
> Studio is public display of ongoing work (among designers)
> Studio has expert or master guidance
> Studio uses the artistic review process of "critique" as opposed to
> "evaluation".
> Studio is the presentation of multiple ideas in plain site, in
> progress.
> Studio is constantly sketching during all phases of design and
> development
> Studio is a big brainstorming bubble
>
> Evaluation: Send someone a sample of your work and they send you
> back a
> laundry list of what is wrong, why and if you are lucky how to
> improve it.
>
> Critique: is a real time review of designs, among peers (fellow
> designers),
> who not only evaluate (aka judge your designs), but most certainly
> begin a
> short process of co-designing. It is often expert led, but everyone is
> involved at all levels of critique and analysis and contribution.
> The goal
> is to give guidance, not to give answers (except where the
> designers come
> asking for explicit help. The other goal is to elicit further
> exploration by
> increasing cerebral participation.
[snip]

Y'know the first thing that struck me after reading that was that it
sounds *exactly* like the most effective and pleasant environments
that I've worked in.

The (possibly) interesting thing is that these weren't "design"
environments (in the sense most folk use the term here :-) They were
pure software development shops.

I don't think this isn't a design issue in of itself. Working in an
open collaborative manner with your peers, along with a sprinkling of
leaders in particular domains, is pretty much the best way to get a
group of folk to do or learn _anything_.

A lot of work in the agile software development world is creating
work environments that work that way.

> In conversations with my former head of Innovation & Design Studio
> here at
> Motorola Enterprise Mobility, he also had the same critique of the UX
> community-that our lack of formal studio education really puts us at a
> disadvantage.

I see the opposite problem with folk coming out of academia into
software development. They're trained to work by themselves. I'm
trying to build collaborative working environments.

Are you seeing the "studio" as just a learning environment, or a
working environment too?

Cheers,

Adrian

26 Jan 2008 - 12:44pm
Adrian Howard
2005

On 26 Jan 2008, at 17:27, Mark Schraad wrote:
[snip]
> Look at the roster of designers at IDEO, Cooper, Razorfish... and so
> many other firms. If you look up their qualifications, you will find
> lots of very qualified people doing great work that do not have a
> formal design education. Lots of good professional designers do NOT
> have deep theory or a craft background. This is not an component that
> is required (but I would agree that it has a huge upside) no matter
> how much we wish it so. And, it can be learned in a good work
> environment. Frankly, I believe that foundation skills are much
> easier to teach in a working environment than user/customer empathy
> and market vision.
[snip]

I've also found teaching in the workplace to be effective. I wonder
if your working environment resembles the studio system that David
described?

Cheers,

Adrian

26 Jan 2008 - 12:45pm
Michael Micheletti
2006

On Jan 26, 2008 8:41 AM, David Malouf <dave at ixda.org> wrote:

> Critique: is a real time review of designs, among peers (fellow
> designers),
> who not only evaluate (aka judge your designs), but most certainly begin a
> short process of co-designing. It is often expert led, but everyone is
> involved at all levels of critique and analysis and contribution. The goal
> is to give guidance, not to give answers (except where the designers come
> asking for explicit help. The other goal is to elicit further exploration
> by
> increasing cerebral participation.
>
> The critique session can be a challenging and threatening experience for
those unaccustomed to it. Work is up on the wall or screen, and designers
just as good as you take potshots at it and tell you all the ways it can be
improved. The first dozen or two times this happens, especially on something
you really care about, it feels like your heart's being torn out. After
that, you learn to be a bit detached from your design artifacts. You still
care deeply, but you can let go and look from a place of perspective when
your work is being critiqued, and join in yourself.

Design school lets you get these first heartbreaking experiences with
critique going in a safe environment. You're not going to get fired if your
classmates can't get behind your work. You learn to "step back". You learn
to take it.

I worked on a team of designers a while back where nobody else came out of a
studio environment or graphic/industrial design school. I wanted to
introduce critiques but didn't want them to be threatening. So we
experimented by meeting every couple weeks to critique something else - an
external website typically - that none of us had worked on. It's not the
same as a session focused on work that comes out of the team, but it's a
starting point. After a couple of those, I volunteered to have one of my
current design projects critiqued, and the team began to be more comfortable
and knew what to expect.

Like music or any other craft, it takes practice to develop critique skills
to a sensitive and useful level. But the "group mind" is very powerful and
everyone on the team will grow as a result.

Michael Micheletti

26 Jan 2008 - 12:45pm
Adrian Howard
2005

On 26 Jan 2008, at 16:28, David Malouf wrote:

> On Jan 26, 2008 9:02 AM, Mark Schraad <mschraad at mac.com> wrote:
>
>> A designer is a person the arranges elements in a final order for a
>> specific purpose. Those elements can be visual, physical or
>> conceptual. The designer develops a strategy either prior to or while
>> executing this arrangement.
>
> Ack!!!!
> Being a designer is not focused on the artifacts or decisions we
> make. That
> is focusing way too much on craft. Being a designer is about HOW!
> we make
> those artifacts & the decisions we make.
>
> By your definition above, anyone who does any sort of creativity is a
> designer. There is more to it than that.

Surely it's about both?

Adrian

26 Jan 2008 - 12:51pm
Adrian Howard
2005

On 26 Jan 2008, at 17:45, Michael Micheletti wrote:

[snip]
> Design school lets you get these first heartbreaking experiences with
> critique going in a safe environment. You're not going to get fired
> if your
> classmates can't get behind your work. You learn to "step back".
> You learn
> to take it.
[snip]

That's not to say that you can't have a good workplace environment
where you can get safe critique?

Adrian

26 Jan 2008 - 12:52pm
Mark Schraad
2006

Unfortunately not at the moment. We are trying... but cultural change
in a corporate environment is difficult. Right now I work (and do not
preside) in a cross between what Dave describes and an agency
environment. About half the work is collaborative, but not all.

I have run and worked in environments like what Dave is calling
'studio'. It can be amazing.

Mark

On Jan 26, 2008, at 12:44 PM, Adrian Howard wrote:

>
> On 26 Jan 2008, at 17:27, Mark Schraad wrote:
> [snip]
>> Look at the roster of designers at IDEO, Cooper, Razorfish... and so
>> many other firms. If you look up their qualifications, you will find
>> lots of very qualified people doing great work that do not have a
>> formal design education. Lots of good professional designers do NOT
>> have deep theory or a craft background. This is not an component that
>> is required (but I would agree that it has a huge upside) no matter
>> how much we wish it so. And, it can be learned in a good work
>> environment. Frankly, I believe that foundation skills are much
>> easier to teach in a working environment than user/customer empathy
>> and market vision.
> [snip]
>
> I've also found teaching in the workplace to be effective. I wonder
> if your working environment resembles the studio system that David
> described?
>
> Cheers,
>
> Adrian
>
>
> ________________________________________________________________
> *Come to IxDA Interaction08 | Savannah*
> February 8-10, 2008 in Savannah, GA, USA
> Register today: http://interaction08.ixda.org/
>
> ________________________________________________________________
> Welcome to the Interaction Design Association (IxDA)!
> To post to this list ....... discuss at ixda.org
> Unsubscribe ................ http://www.ixda.org/unsubscribe
> List Guidelines ............ http://www.ixda.org/guidelines
> List Help .................. http://www.ixda.org/help

26 Jan 2008 - 1:15pm
Katie Albers
2005

I can't believe I'm getting into this again, and I beg your
collective pardon in advance, but I strongly suspect that -- in the
absence of a particular context -- if you simply went up to John Q
Human and said "What's a Designer?" You would find that "the world
(outside of the industry)" would define design as an entirely visual
and aesthetic pursuit.

That being said, I expect if you asked Mr. Human "what's an
interaction designer" you would get back a definition of "interface
designer". In my experience, and the experience of many of my friends
and colleagues in this industry, we are widely believed -- except
among those who actually practice Interaction Design, or who rely on
Interaction Designers -- to be the people who make the site "look
good." And all those times I've railed against using the term
"designer" it's because of that belief. I'm very tired of spending a
large part of my professional life explaining that I am *not* the
person who decides it should be pink and round (or whatever). I am
also not the first person to point out that in the world at large,
people with the word "design" in their titles are largely diminished
and dismissed. It's why Tog preferred the the title "Interaction
Architect"

Katie

At 9:02 AM -0500 1/26/08, Mark Schraad wrote:
>Thanks David. I agree that design is a 'nothingness term' but it is
>also critically important if you are to define 'interaction design'
>for the non-designer world. Having looked at about a hundred resumes
>in the last 6 months for UI designer, interaction designers and
>information architects, way less than 15% have been in my opinion
>qualified for the jobs I had in mind. Yet they all applied for what
>are obviously (to me) 'design' positions. Less than 5% actually
>attended any sort of design school. So I kind of agree that defining
>design is mostly an academic endeavor.
>
>That being said... here is how I believe the world (outside of the
>industry) would define design:
>
>A designer is a person the arranges elements in a final order for a
>specific purpose. Those elements can be visual, physical or
>conceptual. The designer develops a strategy either prior to or while
>executing this arrangement.
>
>A professional designer is one who generates their livelihood by
>designing.
>
>Qualifications:
>
>Has been trained by a designer
>Has attended design school
>Has experience designing
>Has achieved a level of quality consistent with the medium or domain
>Proclaims themselves a designer
>Displays a creative tendency
>Bought a Mac (kidding)
>
>
>As we work to further educate our audience and bring ourselves into
>some consistency of message this bears keeping in mind. MBA's,
>engineers, executives, HR people and biz dev people do not see
>themselves as designers, but in this sense they often are. The do
>however see themselves as qualified to make many many design decisions.
>
>Mark
>
>
>
>On Jan 25, 2008, at 9:57 PM, David Malouf wrote:
>
>> 1) People who have worked in and have been trained in the processes
>> around
>> studio/crit
>> * this could be anyone who has either gone to a design school, or
>> figured
>> out on their own to learn what is learned in a design school, or
>> gained the
>> experience of design school studio through vocational experience.
>>
>> 2) People who practice multi-linear, exploration as their creative
>> practice,
>> as opposed to linear thinking
>>
>> I'll stop there.
>>
>> To me the question is annoying. Why? b/c so much of the question is
>> already
>> couched in this assumption that "everyone is a designer"; The
>> engineer, the
>> banker, my grandmother, etc.
>>
>> It is also a trap b/c "design" is such a nothing term, so to use
>> the term
>> "design" by itself, is meaningless. The contexts are important.
>>
>> So in my mind, most interactive designers are not designers, in
>> that they
>> actually apply aesthetic treatments usually using techniques that are
>> derived from engineering practices more than from the traditional
>> design
> > school processes. Yes, there is room for hybrids in this world and
>> we should
>> always be willing to take the best of everything we can expose
>> ourselves to,
>> but I believe there is something at the core of design practice,
>> methods,
>> education, and systems that is worth holding on to.
>>
>> design != creation or creativity
>>
>> -- dave
>>
>>
>> On Jan 25, 2008 2:04 PM, Mark Schraad <mschraad at mac.com> wrote:
>>
>>> So Dave,
>>>
>>> Only because I know that you don't mind being put on the spot. How
>>> do you
>>> define who is a designer? What are the criteria?
>>>
>>> Mark
>>>
>>>
>>>
>>> On Friday, January 25, 2008, at 10:57AM, "dave malouf"
>>> <dave at ixda.org>
>>> wrote:
>>>
>>>> Sure, (Kumbaya!) we are all "D"esigners, great! (I actually think
>>>> that most of us aren't designers, btw, but that's a separate
>>>> topic).
>>>
>>>
>>
>>
>> --
>> David Malouf
>> http://synapticburn.com/
>> http://ixda.org/
>> http://motorola.com/
>> ________________________________________________________________
>> *Come to IxDA Interaction08 | Savannah*
>> February 8-10, 2008 in Savannah, GA, USA
>> Register today: http://interaction08.ixda.org/
>>
>> ________________________________________________________________
>> Welcome to the Interaction Design Association (IxDA)!
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>
>________________________________________________________________
>*Come to IxDA Interaction08 | Savannah*
>February 8-10, 2008 in Savannah, GA, USA
>Register today: http://interaction08.ixda.org/
>
>________________________________________________________________
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>To post to this list ....... discuss at ixda.org
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--

----------------
Katie Albers
katie at firstthought.com

26 Jan 2008 - 1:49pm
Dave Malouf
2005

Please see my response in the other thread.
It highlights why this sort of pedantic response is without foresight
or strategic thought. Why I disagreed with Tog from the beginning on
his titling (as well as many others).

What I find so interesting so far is the USer centricism in the
conversation. In Europe there is such a different take on interaction
design vs. interface design.

It's probably why Western Europe has 900% more interaction design
programs. They are almost all in design programs.

Since when do designers do what John Q says. We are strategic problem
solvers who look for the latent problems that John Q can't
articulate. If we just made what John Q wanted, we would all have
Homer-mobiles (and since you are all so acquainted with John Q, I
shouldn't have to explain what a Homer-mobile is.)

-- dave

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Posted from the new ixda.org
http://www.ixda.org/discuss?post=25127

26 Jan 2008 - 3:01pm
Troy Gardner
2008

Qualifications are IMO optional, it depends on where you get mentored
1) teachers/bosses 2) books 3) hacking. Passion combined with aptitude
will allow greatness grow, especially those diamonds that form in the
pressure of deliverables... be it self-imposed or externally.

> Since when do designers do what John Q says. We are strategic problem
> solvers who look for the latent problems that John Q can't
> articulate.

Amen brotha! Relatedly,
1) Often users being heads down will be 'in the box' behaviorally
trained to stay in that box, are unable to even know what solutions
are possible. Outside the box, we are free to see how a given medium
can minimize a particular workflow for a particular, and in particular
with workflows measuring the benefits to such changes differentiates
it from purely subjective design. Schooling and corporate culture can
produce a similar behavior conditioning, which is why
cross-disciplines teams tend to produce innovation.

2) in interaction design and experience design, great products often
boil down to flow states, which by definition are getting people to
move through the system fluidly without paying much attention to the
details, so ask end user to say why they like an ipod better than some
other mp3 player and they can't really enumerate, it's just makes them
happy.

The downside to this for us, is that XD+IA are illusive. It's that
savory flavor, most can't really describe, so either don't allocate
resources for the recipie or spend volumes of hours trying to recreate
it.

26 Jan 2008 - 3:41pm
Mark Schraad
2006

On Jan 26, 2008, at 5:49 AM, dave malouf wrote:
snip
> What I find so interesting so far is the USer centricism in the
> conversation.
snip

snip
>
> Since when do designers do what John Q says. We are strategic problem
> solvers who look for the latent problems that John Q can't
> articulate. If we just made what John Q wanted, we would all have
> Homer-mobiles (and since you are all so acquainted with John Q, I
> shouldn't have to explain what a Homer-mobile is.)
snip

There is an aspect to these UCD conversations that has thus far been
missing. UCD - or the mentions of the design process being user
centric are only worth wile if they reduce ill-informed design. This
is design that occurs in the absence of previous domain knowledge or
without conducting user research. All too often design happens
without real understanding of the context of use. That understanding
can only be gain if the designer has access to research or is
immersed in the usage context. Without this user empathy one of two
things are likely to occur. First, the designers uninformed vision
becomes a reality. Second, technology or monetization influences the
final deliverable. In both cases product will likely fail. Less than
10% of all products launched actually succeed in the marketplace. How
many resources are wasted in the launch of those bad products? Can
designers contribute to sustainability efforts? You bet, stop
designing crappy products destined to fail in the marketplace. We can
and should be designing better.

The hardest part of this UDC process is interpreting and applying the
research. The user and the research should NEVER make design
decisions. Those decisions have to be made by the informed designer.
But all of this still falls short of an ideal process.

Here is the kicker. The designer has to play the role of visionary.
The designer needs to anticipate the future. And, the informed design
has a much better chance to accomplish this. Rarely do customers
anticipate what they will need next. That is our job and this is were
the great designers shine. They answer the questions that are about
to be asked. They solve the problems that have almost surfaced. And,
they create demand by providing value and an outstanding, often
unanticipated user experience. This is the criteria we should use to
call a designer 'genius' - not their process.

Mark

28 Jan 2008 - 1:20pm
dmitryn
2004

This sounds very much like the definition of design that Victor Papanek (one
of the first people to advocate a holistic vision of design) came up with
about 30 years ago:

"Design is the conscious and intuitive effort to impose meaningful order."

Papanek also makes another statement that I think hints at the futility of
all the "defining the damn thing" conversations that have been transpiring
on this list:

"Design is the patterning and planning of any act toward a desired,
foreseeable end... any attempt to separate design, to make it a
thing-by-itself, works counter to the fact that design is the primary
underlying matrix of life."

Dmitry

On Sat, 26 Jan 2008 06:53:32, pauric <radiorental at gmail.com> wrote:

> I like your definition Mark, this might be something of a nuance but I
> dont see the creative aspect in "A designer is a person the arranges
> elements in a final order for a specific purpose." In my
> experience, thats lay-out, a design subset.
>
> Again, small point but I'd prefer to see this put as "A designer is
> a person who chooses and arranges elements in a final order for a
> specific purpose."
>
> Or if we were to take this a step further to capture good design.
>
> "A designer is a person who understands the necessary elements and
> arranges them in a final order for a specific purpose."
>
>
> . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
> Posted from the new ixda.org
> http://www.ixda.org/discuss?post=25127
>
>
> ________________________________________________________________
> *Come to IxDA Interaction08 | Savannah*
> February 8-10, 2008 in Savannah, GA, USA
> Register today: http://interaction08.ixda.org/
>
> ________________________________________________________________
> Welcome to the Interaction Design Association (IxDA)!
> To post to this list ....... discuss at ixda.org
> Unsubscribe ................ http://www.ixda.org/unsubscribe
> List Guidelines ............ http://www.ixda.org/guidelines
> List Help .................. http://www.ixda.org/help
>

28 Jan 2008 - 1:38pm
.pauric
2006

Dmitry:"Papanek also makes another statement that I think hints at the
futility of all the "defining the damn thing""

Yerp. In the context of the discussion I prefer to think of design in
terms of how, not what. Most people inherently 'design', its the
fabric of life, but not everyone uses methodology.

I dont recall if I read this verbatim or coagulated it from a number
of sources... when someone wants my elevator pitch on what I do,
whether its a veep or granny I some it up as follows..

Design is the art of deleting the non essential. My job is
understanding the essential.

The problem with that viewpoint as I've come to discover; people
desire more than the essentials.

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