Call me Delia: a tale of good design

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The talk I did at http://supermondays.org Newcastle University Mon 25th July 2011.

"The design process is a well-run kitchen: many skilled chefs and great tools…and often a sweary Gordon at the helm. Leanne Johnson, Head of Design & Studio at Mobious, will take us through the critical ingredients needed for good design and why they’re important. She will also talk about why good design is NOT subjective, and why you’ll get hit with a wooden spoon if you approach her with ‘Brush Script’."

Please view with my accompanying presentation notes, as there is sadly no video from the venue and it makes much more sense that way ;)

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Call me Delia: a tale of good design

  1. 1. Call me DeliaAngry chefs, bad fonts and wooden spoonsLeanne Johnson@minxlj 1
  2. 2. designCooking is like love. It should be enteredinto with abandon or not at all 2
  3. 3. Fried egg? F*ck off. I’m not here sweating myf*cking b*llocks off to cook some d*ckhead a fried egg. 3
  4. 4. What is good design?What is bad design? What is design? 4
  5. 5. What is design?“Design is a relationship between form and content” - Paul Rand form follows function 5
  6. 6. What is design?• Design is mostly misunderstood to be only aesthetics - this is completely wrong• It’s visual communication. And invisible.• Design should provoke an emotional or physical response.Design is not just what it looks like, and feels like; design is how it works - Steve Jobs 6
  7. 7. Bad design kills*• Form without considering function• Inappropriate or misleading use of style• Homogenous - trying to please everyone *with spoons 7
  8. 8. Bad design kills*• Form without considering function• Inappropriate or misleading use of style• Homogenous - trying to please everyone Contrary to popular belief, it’s not this! 8
  9. 9. Bad design, more killing• Inappropriate use or perception Ouch. 9
  10. 10. So what makes good design?• Good design uses the nature of the medium as an advantage, not a restriction - nobody ever insisted books should be made of cheese• Good design answers a communication need and prompts an emotional or physical response• Content first 10
  11. 11. Critical ingredients• Your most important tool is not ever THIS: 11
  12. 12. Critical ingredients• Your most important tool is not ever THIS: ...but these 12
  13. 13. Critical ingredients• Research, research, research!• Context - always ask why, where, who “Always design a thing by considering it in its larger context. A chair in a room, a room in a house, a house in an environment, an environment in a city plan” - Eliel Saarinen ?? ? 13
  14. 14. Critical ingredients Shopping list• Personality 14
  15. 15. Critical ingredients Shopping list• Personality• Space 15
  16. 16. Critical ingredients Shopping list• Personality• Space• Simplicity 16
  17. 17. Critical ingredients Shopping list• Personality• Space• Simplicity• Relationship and proximity 17
  18. 18. Critical ingredients Shopping list• Personality• Space• Simplicity• Relationship and proximity• Colour 18
  19. 19. Critical ingredients Shopping list• Personality• Space• Simplicity• Relationship and proximity• Colour• Hierarchy 19
  20. 20. Critical ingredients Shopping list• Personality• Space• Simplicity• Relationship and proximity• Colour• Hierarchy• Type 20
  21. 21. Critical ingredients Shopping list• Personality• Space• Simplicity• Relationship and proximity• Colour• Hierarchy• Type• Alignment 21
  22. 22. Critical ingredients Shopping list• Personality - how does this need to be perceived?• Space - lack of clutter; give content room to be seen• Simplicity - ‘just enough’ is more• Relationship and proximity - group related items• Colour - use psychological responses, and give consistency• Hierarchy - important elements should take centre stage• Type - appropriate personality, and a well-designed font• Alignment - no random objects (and don’t forget the milk) 22
  23. 23. Taste is subjective.(Good) design is not. Go on Gordon, you tell ‘em 23
  24. 24. Leanne, it’s sh*t.• You’re wrong ;-)• Poorly constructed feedback is damaging to the design process - seek out proper critique• Pleasing everyone results in blandness If nobody hates it, nobody can love it because there’s nothing to feel. 24
  25. 25. Oh and you might need this, forthe occasional client...Leanne Johnson@minxlj 25

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