Who cares about design

A post full of questions from a non-designer.

Let me point out that I’m by no means a designer and except from an occasional Photoshop session, I had never made any significant piece of design worth mentioning.

Let me start by asking a few questions.

Who cares about design? Why do ugly designs exist? Why do we live in a world full of ugly products and ugly user interfaces and ugly food. Of course, beauty is in the eye of the beholder but I believe that is not entirely the case.

For example, if you pick up your remote for your TV, it will probably be ugly as hell. Functional sure, but probably ugly. If you look at the back side of your TV, it will most likely be ugly and full of unnecessary connectors and labels and plastic holders sticking out. If you open your fridge and look at the packaging on a few of your favorite foods, I bet you will find some ugly looking fonts and stupid use of colors on it.

The question that comes to my mind at this point is - who buys good design if there are so many ugly products out there? Should designers even bother making beautiful products, websites, apps, packaging … Because when you go to your local grocery or hardware store, you get the feeling that 90% of people don’t care about design, considering the amount of ugliness on the shelves. Some people just buy stuff because they need it and don’t care how it looks and feels like.

The next question is - does that mean that we have an excuse to produce ugly stuff? People will buy it anyway, right? Although they won’t appreciate it for it’s design, but they will buy and use it.

I’m asking myself now - who do we design/make nice looking stuff for? A few people who can appreciate it? We put 10 or even 100 times more time into a feature or a color selection to make the experience better and in the end, who will appreciate it?

That’s probably the reason very well thought through design is expensive. Take for example Apple. We all know that Steve Jobs wanted every single inch of a product to be absolutely perfect, no matter the cost. Even the inside of the early computers had to be engineered to perfection. He cared about design. And the products he made were/are a bit more expensive because of that. It seems like there’s nothing wrong with that because millions of people are willing to pay just a bit more to experience that and to be a part of the tribe.

I believe that in a perfect world we would be surrounded by amazing and beautiful design and that every product we would touch would make perfect sense and the experience while using it would be nothing less of mind blowing. I believe that by being surrounded by beauty we would become more relaxed, loving and productive human beings. That was probably the aim of Steve Jobs and still is of many other entrepreneurs who are trying to make our lives better, simpler and more beautiful.

So, who cares about design? I do. And you should too.

PS: Follow me on Twitter — @jurepasekure