So what do you think is a good design?
Is it fancy banners or is it a good looking theme for website? Many people believe that a good web design is the art of making a website look good. However, design is more about how something works than how it looks. Design is about both form and function. In contrast with art, good design is not only visually and emotionally appealing but is made for use.
As Steve Jobs rightly said, “Design is not just what it looks like and feels like. Design is how it works.” The goal of design is to efficiently solve problems. A good design is invisible, only when it’s poorly designed is when we start noticing it.
Design is based on the understanding of how users see the world, how they think and behave.The toolset of the designer is broader than just colors and font-styles, as it also includes user-research, prototyping, usability testing, and more.
How do we know if it’s a good design?
Take for example an alarm clock, it has only two functions display time and wake the sleeping beauty – that’s me. Now I recently downloaded this high end clock radio monstrosity app. It offers high fidelity, digital sound, and lots of features. It wakes me up at a preset time by playing my preset playlist, and it has the delicacy and intelligence to slowly fade up the volume when it begins to play at 6:00 a.m. This feature is really pleasant and quite unique, and it compensates for the fact that I want to hurl the infuriating machine out the window.
Now here’s the problem – It’s very hard to tell when the alarm is armed, so it occasionally fails to wake me up on a Monday and rousts me out of bed early on a Saturday. Sure, it has an indicator to show the alarm is set, but that doesn’t mean it’s useful. The app has a sophisticated interface that displays all of its many functions. The presence of a small clock symbol in the upper-left corner of the screen indicates the alarm is armed, but in a dimly lit bedroom the clock symbol cannot be seen. Also to set the alarm I have to go to my list of alarms (Yes, I inadvertently created a barrage of alarm lists while trying to figure out how to set the alarm). Now I need to select the right list and set time, dates, type and 3 more things to save the alarm. Is it my fault that I am not gizmo literate enough to be using my high end alarm app or is the design fault? Now my old alarm was invisible, it did what needs to be done. Same with web design – the design needs to be to the point giving the user what the web page promised to do.
Thats a good design!