From the time our first ancestors made marks on their tools and painted designs on cave walls, humans have been designers by nature. Every tool, every piece of art, every advertisement or website for that matter, has a cultural and human context. Our human stories are intertwined with the things we value, and the things we value are designed.
And design creates value.
When we simply design for a “user” or “customer,” we can fall into the trap of overlooking the human context — the story and values — which makes what we are designing special.
For example, while working to design a website it is certainly important to take into account the usability, organization and technology. It is important to have a pleasing aesthetic. But, all too often, aesthetic decisions are rooted in technology decisions, not human need. The “ceremony of use” of an application is only given secondary importance to the designers’ own aesthetic judgments or technical decisions And when that occurs, the “human” quality is often lost in the end product. [amazon_textlink asin=’0465067107′ text='(Norman, The Design of Everyday Things, 2002)’ template=’ProductLink’ store=’jonwretlind-20′ marketplace=’US’ link_id=’e53db4d7-fe1a-11e6-b655-75c57dcb01d6′].
What remains is certainly usable, but is it desirable?
When design is integrated into the human story of a person employing our services, then design has the possibility of impacting our world for the better.
People are not just users or customers. They have emotions and souls. They are infinitely diverse.
Our designs should therefore be as diverse as the people using them.
Our designs should tell their story.
In the more than 25 years I have been practicing design, I have sought to discover the story. I have looked for ways which designs can merge with that story, and can tell that story. I have developed a process for discovering the hidden stories behind every product or service. This process involves psychology and spirituality, not just engineering and technology. And it is integrated into research methods that seek to find the story behind your product or service.