What is design?


I ask this question to designers when I interview them all the time. And more than 80% of them said, "Design is a solution to solve the problems.". I was wondering why so many young designers have the same answer. Maybe this sentence was in the textbook when they were students, or perhaps they took it from a famous designer's quote. As a designer for more than ten years of experience, I cannot agree with this. I agree with this quote, but I cannot accept that too many designers have the same answer to my question. Design is not that simple to me. Sometimes it becomes a concept, sometimes it becomes a professional job(or role), or sometimes it becomes something else. As a description of a job, it might be a description of a specialized job. Drawing, coloring, the layout is just a tiny part of a design job. But as a concept, it can be everything or anything. That's the reason why I always say that everyone is a designer. Let me show you how ordinary people: who don't have a job as a designer are also designers.

Here's the sliding door handle. By putting this on the door, my wife improved its usability, and solve the problem(pain point) as well. What's the difference between my wife and user experience designer? They did the same thing: improved usability. But we don't call her a user experience designer.

If I ask you this question, "Why did you select these clothing today?" what would you like to answer me? Because it is your style? How do you describe your style? You may say you like comfortable and bright clothing but not too colorful, etc. This is exactly the same when designers explain their design concept. To me, the owner of a company is a designer who designs the company, a financial person in the company designs the system of a company's finance, and my wife designs my family's happy dinner experience with lovely meals. There are more examples I can show you to prove why everyone is a designer. They just don't have a title, designer on their name card. Design requires creativity, and creativity is not limited by one answer. If you want to be a good designer, you should have to think about how you define the design.