Assignment 4 – Response to Chapt 1 from Kim Goodwin, Designing for the Digital Age

Designing for the Digital Age by Kim Goodwin provides a framework for designers embarking on their projects, to achieve optimum efficiency and effectiveness, from a functional, industrial standpoint. Goodwin believes that the essence of design is to visualize concrete solutions through conceptualizing for stakeholders to see and understand, and eventually build. As mentioned in the second paragraph, the ability to serve human needs and goals is what sets a design artifact apart from art.

Goal-directed design is a method developed at Cooper (founded by software inventor Alan Cooper) for approaching the design of products and services. With user goals in mind, goal-directed design aims to aid skilled designers in their job of generating great solutions, instead of acting as a set of rules or restrictions. This method consists of four main components – Principles, patterns, process and practices, that make up some of the techniques that one can implement while designing projects in the real world.

In my opinion, this framework would be very helpful in the planning, conceptualising and the production of a design artefact, but should be used as a general guide, and not in a way where it dictates the direction of the ongoing project. While adapting this framework, certain components and processes may also change depending on the nature of the project and its participants, and exceptions should be made for unique cases. For example, the processes, structure and practices behind the makings of a computer game would be very different from the one behind the production of a household product. What do we change then?

Apart from that, some other questions also come to mind: Does this framework still come into play with several key stakeholders in collaboration? What if there is a conflict in interests and goals?

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