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Design – More Important Than Ever

As part of our tenth anniversary, we reflect on things that have changed most in the past decade. What stands out (not surprisingly) is the digital revolution and the reduced call for print design. Some may think production now belongs entirely in the technical world – it’s all coding and geekery, designers are not so needed.

There was a time when designers had to struggle to catch up and grasp what their technical counter-parts had invented, to understand what they could do or create with it. What a fun medium. It removes a lot of restraints from the physical realm of print.

It feels funny to talk like his, as if they just invented the Internet yesterday, but with the budding mobile world, opportunity for great design has exploded once again.

Everything you look at has been designed, or not…

You see the technology every day, but many don’t understand that someone has designed everything you look at (or not). If you expect your mobile app to compete with the others in the app store, it has to look fantastic and be easy to figure out.

The proliferation of social media sparked a grass-roots approach to small business. I can do it easily now too! Now there are millions of small businesses clamoring for attention on social media platforms. How can you compete if you don’t stand out, if you don’t look as slick and professional as the next guy, if you aren’t differentiated by your brand?

Technology like WordPress has made it easy for those so inclined to create their own websites. When the Mac and Adobe tools were invented some thought anyone could make brochures if they learned the software. It goes beyond tools. Designers see things in colours and empty spaces that most don’t see. We can invent ideas out of thin air to make things more interesting, to evoke an emotional response.

It’s not just design, it’s creating an experience.

To truly compete you have to create an experience. Look at the programs on your smart phone – they are beautiful. My iPhone Reminders looks like a leather desk blotter – you can feel the leather texture of it. Even my very functional Convert Units iPhone app has this depth and richness to the design.

Technology has not made designers irrelevant, but more important than ever and we’re having a blast.

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