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Coming from an engineering background and my work as an IT consultant I was always uneasy with the seeming inability of designers to explain why they made a design decision. Or for the explanation to be “because, or a feeling”. That along with my own misconceptions of what Design entailed kept me away from the field that my heart wanted to pursue.
I am of the opinion that designers need to be able to give a reasoned explanation to the client of why they chose a particular direction and why they feel that direction is best. Sure there may be more than one road, but as the expert—that is why you were hired—you must be able to articulate your choices and thereby articulate your value to the client.
So it does my heart good when I see guys like Simon Colison—whom I’ve adopted as a mentor, unbeknown to him—talk clearly about understanding of the goals for a website and being able to use that to guide and judge decisions and outcomes of the final product.
I feel further validated, despite being a n00b, by this article over at Cognition that urges the design profession to move beyond “catch-all, light-beer words [such]as ‘Clean,’ ‘Minimalist’ or ‘Modern’.” That “never expose the quality of a solution, regardless of how perfect the final design might be.”
I’m sure these aren’t new or the only cries for reasoned decisions. Also these guys have been in the industry for some time. I do, however, believe that as the design industry matures it will behoove anyone claiming the title of designer to be able to explain there thinking leading up to a particular solution.