Delight is Not a Design Goal

  • edUi Conference Live Arts Theater, 123 East Water Street Charlottesville, Va. USA

Do you expect enough from design? Obviously not if your organization just wants screens that look pretty. Superficial design goals often survive even in otherwise sophisticated organizations. You see it in the proliferation of words like “intuitive” and “user-friendly,” concepts that sound righteous but are less than helpful when it comes to actual design work.

Similarly, the overuse of the term delight has worn out its value. When you hear a design’s primary intent is to “delight users,” it usually means “we don’t know what problem this design actually solves.”

Design is what it does, and what it does is solve problems. We should expect designers to be fully involved with defining the primary problem their design must solve. We will explore what skills, processes and organizational structures are required to make that possible. Great design work isn’t mystical and great designers aren’t magicians. It requires commitment from the entire organization.