What is good design?

As Lowgren puts it,

Good is defined in relation to societal laws, regulations, agreements and contracts. We cannot reach a simple definition of what constitutes good design.

It is, in Lowgren’s words, “a designer’s most important task .. to develop her judgement, by critically and independently formulating her own assumptions and beliefs.”

Good design stems from a keen eye and a taste that has been developed over the years, but how does one begin thinking developing such taste?

Lowgren proposes a set of ideas and guides that is meant to allow designers to be critical and reflective. In his own sense, he is attempting to give the ‘material without qualities qualities.” whatisgooddesign


The term interaction design was first coined in 1980s but it was only in the previous decade or so that the idea begin to take form. Lowgren uses a set of parameters to define the challenges that designers need to understand and reflect upon as they create these works.

What i find particularly useful is the ideas and responsibilities that Jonas Lowgren is championing for designers to tackle. These guidelines give designers a set of standards to uphold themselves onto and gives themselves something tangible to understand their own works.


I think that this is particularly interesting when i begin to use this framework to understand my own medium, mainly games. A couple of years ago, it is rare to think of games as a medium that is good for something anything other than fun and entertainment. Yet in the past decade or so, there has been a rise in the ‘practical’ use of games.

Serious games has been for a while been used to make a statement, either through using empathy  or through sharing a different perspective. Games allow us to put ourselves in positions we otherwise would not be able to experience.

1. September 12,

A political statement about the act of ‘counter terrorism’ leading to the rise of more terrorists, September 11 gives players the agency to react and kill off the terrorists , only to harm innocent people and create more terrorists as a result.

It is simple and yet powerful, playful but also horrifying as we begin to understand the impact and significance of the actions we support and how it affect the lives of others.




The immersive experience can only be described as surreal. In a large enough space, it is difficult to not give into the suspension of disbelief that one naturally indulges in inside a VR world. In  game, I almost feel like I am standing on the edge of the cliff or pulling a long bow. The haptic feedback works well giving a degree of illusion of touch.


The 2 camera maps out the location of the player in real space and translating that in game. The stereoscopic vision through the dual screen creates a  sense of depth through use of perception.


3.  NINTENDO SWITCHnintendoswitch_hardware-0-0


Recently Nintendo has announced a hybrid console. One that is able to function as a console + controller at home ( above) and a mobile portable console, ( below) . Nintendo’s reveal for the switch has generated huge hype. From my perspective, it is because the Switch is designed to solve a few problems that plagues  modern day console.


  1.  mobile gaming devices and home console devices exist in two separate markets- Switch solves this problem by having a two in one design that is still relatively affordable.
  2. Local split screen games are diminishing  – Switch can hook up to 8 different controllers.  nintendoswitch_hardware2-0