Reflection | Design for the digital age by Kim Goodwin

 Reading: CH01_Digital_Age_Goodwin

In this chapter, the author defines the role of a designer as the person who “visualize concrete solutions that serve human needs and goals within certain constrains” I find this definition interesting, as it addresses some difficulties of the design professions that I have personally experienced. First, many people seem to confuse between design and art (this is also mentioned by the author), thinking of them both as abstract and subjective. However, with Goodwin’s definition, we get a sense that design is a more logical and rational profession, much like engineering or business, where design decisions are made within constraints to achieve a definable goal. Goodwin also further discusses that design is a deliberate act to make ideas tangible and communicable between different stakeholders, highlighting the important role of the designer as the catalysts for other processes to happen.

The author also introduced the concept of Goal-Directed product and service design, which was an approach developed at design consultancy Cooper. Throughout this chapter, Goodwin outlines his book and briefly explains the components of Goal-Directed design, which are:

Principles: sets of guidelines to create good solutions under specific circumstances.

Patterns: types of solutions that tend to work in certain classes of problems. Those are like building blocks in designer’s vocabulary, ready to be deployed in projects to be more vocabulary

Process: the design process is the focus of this book. It consists of 7 steps: (1) Project Planning to outline project structure, providing visions and aims. (2) Research collects data, builds knowledge and consensus about the subject. (3) Modeling is about making sense of the raw research data, identifying trends and developing personas to design for. (4) Requirement definition : determines what is implied about product functionality and design, using personas’ skills, behaviours, goals, stories (scenarios) (5) Framework Definition: interaction / how functionality is grouped, how critical tasks are achieved, visual / how brand qualities is expressed using visual language, industrial design / form components and hardware (6) Detailed Design (7) Implementation Support

Practices: project management practices are the foundation and support for the effective design process to happen.

Question 1: How do young designers with little experience start creating their patterns / building blocks of their design vocabulary?

Question 2: Which part of the design process does the designer have the most influence over and why?

Author: Ava P.

learner and a meaning seeker in all things

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