Design Myth

I have Photoshop, so I can just design it.

Written by Stephen Emlund

This myth is ever-present for many reasons. One being that the correct tool, software, or hardware indeed helps to complete the task of creating a design. The problem with this myth is that a tool, piece of software or your favored operating system only serves your needs, not the needs of the target audience. You’ve solved your problem, not the design problem. You’ve ‘checked the box’ and ‘completed the task’, but you’ve not done the work of a designer. A designer’s work involves visually communicating an idea to the intended audience using rules, principles, a structure, and an overarching vision for the design. iMovie can’t make you a Hollywood blockbuster any more than a hammer can make you a mansion.

The way something looks is not veneer layered on top of its functionality.
—Aral Balkan

No other time in history has there been such easy access to the tools required to get your own book printed, your own website created or your own videos/movies created. The publishing process of these mediums are more democratized than ever before. The aspect that can never be democratized is an understanding of design principles, color psychology, critical thinking skills, writing ability, an understanding of how to solve design problems, etc. These things take years of specialized training to master. Since there is much more accessibility to these tools, the next question is, “who is going to create something great?” Something that solves the design problem at hand and really reaches it’s target audience?

What other say

Seth Godin says, “Racing to build your organization around the latest social network tool or graphics-rendering technology permits you to spend a lot of time learning the new system and skiing in the fresh powder of the unproven, but it might just distract you from the difficult work of telling the truth, looking people in the eye and making a difference.”

The truth

Each design problem is unique and requires more than any software can do by itself. A piece of software stocked full of templates just won’t do the job, because it’s just solving your problem of needing something designed and not really solving the design problem.