POSTS FOR 2012

Dieter Rams on Creative Engineers

Design190 words1 minutes to read

A common misunderstanding that you often find in Engineering-centric organizations is that “design” is simply the way it looks. In truth, design is the way it works.

Dieter Rams had the following to say:

“A designer who wants to achieve good design must not regard himself as an artist who, according to taste and aesthetics, is merely dressing-up products with a last-minute garment. The designer must be the gestaltingenieur or creative engineer. They synthesise the completed product from the various elements that make up its design. Their work is largely rational, meaning that aesthetic decisions are justified by an understanding of the product’s purpose.”

Steve Jobs had something very similar to say:

“In most people’s vocabularies, design means veneer. It’s interior decorating. It’s the fabric of the curtains of the sofa. But to me, nothing could be further from the meaning of design. Design is the fundamental soul of a human-made creation that ends up expressing itself in successive outer layers of the product or service.”

If you are doing UX work in an organization that either doesn’t understand or doesn’t appreciate the science of design, keep your chin up.

Ryan Parman

Ryan Parman is an experienced software engineer, open source evangelist, and passionate user advocate currently living in Seattle. He is the creator of and , and worked on DevOps and Security at . He is now bringing learning into the digital age as an Engineering Lead and Site Reliability Engineer at . Ryan's aptly-named blog, , is where he writes about ideas longer than .