What does it mean to be a designer?

September 17, 2008

Designers are the wizards of the digital age.

That statement is going to make me sound like a geek. But it makes sense in my head.

A designer’s job is to be a mediator for people, to be a go-between between them and the ‘magic’ of new technology. The majority of people can’t deal with raw technology, and the majority of the people who come up with technology can’t understand why people can’t handle the technology like they can (see: Aware Home).

And so you have the designer – our job is understanding stuff. Not quite to the point of an expert on either side of the field – we generally arn’t inventing new tecnologies, but we need to understand those that the Nerds in engineering and comp. sci. come up with. We don’t need to be completely up to date on all the details of psycology and the social sciences, but we need to be able to relate with people and make things for them.

Thus the ‘wizard’ analogy. We arn’t in the business of discovering the ways that magic exists in the world, but it is our job to use it to help the common people, and put it in forms that people can use.

That looks worse on paper than it does in my head. I’m thinking Lord of the Rings here, not Hairy Potters or anything of that sort. Nothing against it, just not a fan.



  1. I like this idea. I think your design statement is very unique and not just shallow thought processed bs. Don’t hate on HP he’s awesome. 😉

  2. Not hatin’, just preemptively making sure people don’t assume that’s what I’m talking about when I mention a wizard. I’ve never read HP really, so just never had time when that craze was going on.

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