Defining Design

Chen Ye
Sep 4, 2015 · 6 min read

“People think that design is styling. Design is not style. It’s not about giving shape to the shell and not giving a damn about the guts. Good design is a renaissance attitude that combines technology, cognitive science, human need and beauty to produce something that the world didn’t know was missing.”Paola Antonelli

At its core, design is systemized problem solving. Design encompasses all the high level thinking we do when we come up with an idea about how we can make something better. It’s the natural ideation we go through when we realize “Hey this thing sucks! I have a couple of ideas about how to make it better!”, and all the planning, execution, testing, and improvement that follows.

Design is basic to all human activities — the placing and patterning of any act towards a desired goal constitutes a design process.”Victor Papanek, Design For the Real World

So really, everyone’s experienced the core of the design process — ideation. It’s a natural outgrowth of human curiosity (well, and laziness). And as hackers, all of you have taken it a step further, by executing on the random thoughts you’ve had in your heads; actually making something as a result. Congratulations, you’re all designers already!

“The role of the designer is that of a very good, thoughtful host — whose energy goes into trying to anticipate the needs of his guests.Charles Eames

Design as a profession takes this natural problem solving drive, and develops the systemized strategies and skills we need in order to make it useful to other people.






There are so many ways to approach all these phases of design.

In the next couple of weeks, I’ll write about strategies I use to effectively approach design at hackathons and in agile/sprint-based workflows. Follow me and/or subscribe to the HH Design publication if you’re interested in following along!





HH Design

Thoughts from a community built around design within the context of technology.

Chen Ye

Written by

Chen Ye

Builds; explores worlds when not distracted by cats. SpaceX Design. Ex-@FacebookDesign, @IBMWatson, @Microsoft, @hackatbrown. Brown ’17.5 http://cye.me

HH Design

HH Design

Thoughts from a community built around design within the context of technology.