Iteration is not design
Todd Olson

An important post, Todd, very clear and insightful. The darwinism metaphor has been (and still is) tempting, but quite wrong (the two different “domains” connected have too many discrepancies) — I always struggled whit it because it looks like bringing back to the table the “intelligent design” horror (you know…”well, you see, what you say shows that evolution requires a designer, cannot happen by itself…”).

Design is intentionally creating value for humans, satisfying needs and achieving some kind of emotional buy-in, not just submitting “random” small changes to trial. I always use as an example the concept of “prototype” — a design prototype is made with intention, to elicit feedback and “have a conversation with your ideas” (T. Wujec) — an evolutionary prototype (a mutation) happen by chance — this is why evolution takes so long to make an improvement happen…

I agree with you the risk in this mistake cannot be ignored, and a wise, solid and “aware” prototyping process is probably one of the best solutions we can suggest.

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