Design shows how much you care

Jony Ive says one of the best things ever about design in this video.

– I think one of the things that you get a sense of, is the degree of care. How much did this group of people care to make this and make it right? And they didn’t just do it for themselves, it’s in service for the people that are gonna use and buy the product.

– Part of the human condition is that we sense care. Sometimes it’s easier to realize that you sense carelessness.

This is brilliant and it explains a lot about why some of us react strongly to bad design. When you work with graphic design you meet all kinds of reactions to design. We meet people that say that they ”don’t want any design” on their website or print work, like if it would be possible to not have any design on something? Even if you write some words with a pen on a paper, it gives a visual impression and tells us something about the person who wrote it and the situation.

I find it offending when some companies have bad design on their websites or print work and the reason is what Jony Ive said: I sense their carelessness.

Of course, even if you care, you might don’t have the resources to show how much you care, but even if you don’t have the money to hire for example, eh, Jony Ive, you can still care enough to show style on the level you’re operating from. Some companies manage to show a lot of care in how they design small things in non expensive ways.

Other companies have buck loads of money and should be able to show how much they care about their customers, but they still don’t get it. In stead they show other things, like how smart they are or that they have managed to add yet another feature to a product that never has and never will be designed in a way that makes people feel that they care about their customers.

One problem is that I think some people think of bad design as caring, because they believe that good design is expensive and therefor, they think that a company that cares about their customers, should never ever use good design, because if they do, they spend their money in useless luxury. Which is a paradox.

Then we get to the next thing about design: it goes hand in hand with function. The best design is so well thought out that you don’t think much about it when you use it. It just works and it makes your life easier.

When a company don’t care to create good design it might show that they don’t spend their money on the luxury of design, but what in fact happens is often, possibly always, that their website is difficult to use, people get mad because they can’t figure out how the company’s products work or they simply don’t work… and over all what comes out from that kind of companies is not crisp and clear. Sometimes you can’t even understand what it’s all about because of bad design.

Design is a lot like choosing the words you use to express something. If you care about your message, then you should also care about the words you choose. You sense carelessness even more when someone combines bad design with bad language or misspelled words. It’s all part of the visual signals that we pick up in order to understand how to evaluate everything we get exposed to.

Now I have to read the book about Jony Ive that I have bought, but not yet found the time to read…