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Designing For People

Design as Communication

What is good design?

The stock answer is that good design is generally a combination of different qualities — what it does, what it looks like, and so on. But as our expectations of design change, so do those qualities and the relationship between them.

Designs should be complete but not cluttered. Good design should be able to tell a story at a glance without the reader getting lost in the overall look. Some designers like less detail, others like more.

But what really works on a broader scale?

Look at different images of products around you. Most are simple, well thought out designs. They tell a story at a glance or give a feeling with just a look. Simplicity is a great goal to use when trying to create a design. Corporate elements and product icons carry a lot of weight to get their point across easily. For example, everyone knows the Facebook icon, even though it is simple in both detail and its colors.

Some designs can be more complex. A design will be more detailed and complex when designing for a large audience where you need to show many possibilities for a particular product or image. Those designs are usually full of color and ideas but not so much that it overwhelms the viewer.