30 May 2006

General Theory of Design

I was catching up on some of the blogs I try to read and I found this fantastic definition of design by Brian Sooy:

"Design consists of creating things for clients who may not know what they want, until they see what you've done, then they know exactly what they want, but it's not what you did."

This is so true. As I see it, the only way around this is to ship as frequently as possible. The folks over at 37 Signals provided the more visual representations both above and below.


Anonymous said...

Your friendly local user experience researcher would like to remind you that shipping as frequently as possible isn't the only way. :)

David Weiss said...

:) So there's a baited comment. Sure, shiping frequently is not the only way to get feedback on a design, but it is certainly the most tangible. It can also be the most costly. A paper prototype, a Flash mockup, a recorded usability test, a site visit, even verbal feedback from a web form, they all allow different levels of communication effectiveness and context about what could be and provide valuable datapoints. I still view them, costs aside, as less ideal than working code. Of course, cost always counts, so another question could follow: "Is there a way to ship more frequently in a way that doesn't cost so much?"