Overview: Tim Parsons gives us a look at some of the implications of the ‘everyone is a designer’ thinking that is becoming more and more popular.
Thoughts: I can see some validity to his position. He is coming from the perspective of a professional designer. The skill set and training that this group brings to a design project is vital. However, when it comes to designing things or products – to say that the end user should be ignored is a bit short sighted. Many product designers have gone through the soul killing process of creating a beautiful work, only to have it changed over and over again until it can be produced for the masses. Why not talk with those you are designing for from the beginning and bring beauty to a collaborative process. Very few designers have the luxury of behaving like highly paid artists. Most have to live in the practical world of making a living.
The Myths of User-Centred Design
The extent to which members of the public not trained in design should be involved in the design process has become something of a hot topic over the past few years. Before the emergence of user-centred design, except for consulting market research reports or focus groups, designers were largely left alone to channel their predictions of the public’s desires and behaviour into their creations. Today in many areas of design and architecture, seeking the opinions of the public, and even designing with them, is now considered good practice. Global design consultancies such as IDEO expound the virtues of the designer acting as a facilitator, working in teams with non-designer stakeholders. Co-design has become a business model, both for companies selling research insights and as a means of enabling the public to have a more direct impact upon the look of the products they buy. Read the rest of this entry »