Design is a form of problem solving

Design is thinking made visual(*), it is problem solving. But this process takes time. Things cannot be ‘designed’ overnight. That is styling. Unfortunately many don’t know the difference.

It takes a real understanding of the problem to provide the right solution. This means designers need to be involved at the very early stages of a project. Thinking that a designer can come along at the end and ‘design’ it basically means that they are looking for someone to simply style their solution.

Design is not simply styling.

If this happens, and if you willfully let it happen then you are harming the profession you work in. To get away from this situation, you need to educate those you work with.

Designers should be involved at the very beginning. This avoids a ‘chinese whispers’ effect of others interpreting the requests a certain way and relaying them. It is best to be with the client or stakeholder to understand their requests firsthand. Afterwards, write a brief and have all parties agree to it. This will be the brief that the design solution is marked against.

This is the start of getting away from simply styling other peoples’ solutions.

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