Observations / Other Media / Thoughts

"Demystifying Design" and the Novice

http://www.alistapart.com/articles/demystifying-design/

In his article “Demystifying Design,” Jeff Gothelf examines the mystification of the web designer realm of expertise. He advocates for design’s “demystification” in order to promote collaboration and understanding between designers and “non-designers.” He also argues that this will potentially increase the valuation of designers and their work, rather than diminishing such reverence as some designers might fear.

Gothelf outlines several specific strategies for beginning this process of “demystification,” and these steps sound familiar to a web design novice, as I would imagine many of us are. His first approach – sketch. Such drafting, as we have utilized in class, “is something everyone can do” that levels the playing field. He then recommends sharing these raw ideas and capitalizing on such opportunities for weighing in on the direction of an organic project. Gothelf then goes on to recommend addressing and justifying alterations and changes made to a particular design; this act promotes conversation, collaboration, and constructive criticism, which ultimately elevates the design process as a whole.

Interestingly, Gothelf then highlights the value of transparency, allowing others to see the current work, their motivations for those actions, and eventually the outcomes. This valuable strategy further highlights the value of blogging within this course. These blogs have the potential to allow us, as novice designers, to be transparent in our educational journey and acquire credibility in our own right.

These strategies, Gothelf urges, will only serve to increase the value of the design field, not hinder or diminish it. His suggestions also reveal the foundational truths and practices at the base of this field, further cementing the core values we have already discussed and implemented in class.

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