Response: A Design Perspective on Information Technology

What is Good Design?

First, we have to recognize that there is no simple definition of a Good Design. It is more continuously defining and redefining. However, it depends on many different factors. Such as customer needs and expectations, but also the competences and skills of the user who assess the product. Societal laws, regulations, agreements, contracts and environmental ideals are also a huge impact. A good design artifact is composed of a combination of efficiency and speed on the one hand side but also an understandable user interface on the other hand side.

However, a huge impact of a good design makes the designer himself. His judgment and reflection are very important to design an adequate product. It depends on the designer’s thoughts how to design form, structure and qualities influenced by human habit, traditions and practice but also the on the preconditions and different situations given by the client. Hence, Designers are always creating something new from the scratch using conceptual tools to solve problems and are responsible for the conditions, opportunities and restrictions they create.

Core concepts

Interaction design – existing resource constraints to create, shape, and decide all use-orientated qualities for one or many clients.

Design process – goes from initial ideas to final specification (basis for production). The outcome is not predictable.

Design situation – what should be considered and what can be left out

Digital artifact – the result of an interaction design process. Structure and functionality of the design artifact is possible by the use of technology (computer and information science, software engineering


A Design Project considers ethical, aesthetical and functional issues. Further social and organizational contexts can limit and restrict. The designer has to deal with limited resources and a certain amount of time to create an adequate solution considering unchangeable demands and preconditions as well as conflicting wishes and requests from the clients. These considerations belong to everyday practicalities of design. Develop something of lasting quality in the most suitable and creative way given the existing conditions.

Two product/ project examples for a thoughtfully designed user experience.

Idea 1 of a good design.

Yahoo weather app. Aesthetic weather app that presents you with all relevant weather information users look for. The Design is very minimalistic which makes it easy for everyone to use the app. For an app it’s key that the user can understand the interface fast and easily without any instructions. A clear design encourages using the app often for the special purpose of weather information.

Photo credit:

Idea 2 of a good design.

The design is very minimalistic and it’s centered around the users’ needs. The onboarding phase is very smooth and doesn’t take long to make the watch ready for use. The functions are also very intuitive and self-explanatory, so that the user.

Photo Credit: “Apple Watch Sport.” LWYang. Creative Commons. (Cropped)
Photo Credit: “Apple Watch Sport.” LWYang. Creative Commons. (Cropped)

Aside from the apps, it can be quite useful for busy professionals to manage daily logistics. Instead of pulling out your phone and checking email constantly, you can immediately scan and archive email in a matter of seconds. The calendar notifications serve as friendly and fast reminders. The “Do not Disturb” mode is easy to activate, allowing the user to focus on main tasks at hand. The small screen limits the amount of information. App notifications and messages are treated like time on normal watches. But the Apple Watches also embodies the principle of enhancing the user’s life from the background. Most of the day you forget you’re wearing it, but when you need it, it’s there. Any good app, site, or device should act the same way.



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