Some (possibly) contentious thoughts from Don Norman

10 Aug 2011 - 1:51pm
5 years ago
2 replies
1292 reads
Moses Wolfenstein

I just came across this article by Don Norman from last summer.*

I'm curious what the folks here in the IxDA community think about it.
*Apologies if there's already been a discussion about it here, but searching the discussions for threads containing terms like "design thinking" and "Don Norman" produces a whole lot of results.

Moses Wolfenstein
Associate Director of Research
Academic ADL Co-Lab
Twitter: @mosesoperandi


11 Aug 2011 - 12:57pm
Elise Lind

I definitely buy his argument. The only part of the article I take issue with is his contention that design consultancies want to perpetuate this myth. I think the better design consultancies strive to help both their clients and the larger community to understand that there is a process to design --  that it's NOT magic. (See for example Jon Kolko's excellent Exposing the Magic of Design, (c) 2011, Oxford University Press.) We advance the discipline by proving that it is in fact a discipline, not a mystical power held by a few individuals.

11 Aug 2011 - 8:23pm

The part of design that people forget, and which is equally as integral as problem solving, is the the artistic execution. Here, I am mostly speaking of graphic designers, interaction designers, GUI designers. It is the aesthetic element of design, combined with the the science and research, that allows design firms to position themselves as offering something unique to their customers.

The other thing people forget is that most design firms are very good at marketing; thats the magic piece that the author of the article speaks of. Advertising and design go hand and hand, and when a customer is looking for a design firm, they want comfort in knowing the creative services which they are paying for, are unique enought to distinguish them from their competitors and give them the edge they need in business. Design firms understand this and have become very good at selling that point.

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