in Design

Which is the Primordial Quality of a Design?

Being a designer is an awesome job and people as Steve Jobs demonstrates it to all humankind; there are few domains where may be made a revolution in the progress of the society and fortunately, the design is one of them. Obviously, there aren’t only good aspects, a designer must face many unwanted situations and his creations are critiqued by a lot of people, some of them having a good taste while others are missing it.

No matter what kind of design project is about, the respective product must  respect the basic rules of design, which quite probable are learnt from school or from very beginning but in the same time is required the recognition of the ordinary people. A creation that respects any rules and principles but isn’t liked by people is classified as decent or even poor while one liked but not fully respecting the laws of beautiful design is surely a good work.

The competition is harsh and only the best designers manage to have many good clients but the future perspectives are positive for any lover of this domain. Anyway, the success of any individual is depending on the quality of the work done, hence is mandatory to merely attempt being the best.

A normal question for any designer is how to create a design that is liked by anyone and even to respect all the rules. Besides that, which are the features of a good design and which one is the most important? A logical designer knows that the answer to these questions is in fact the essence of the entire science of design and each one must find his own answers. To finalize an item that is respected and liked by both specialists and ordinary viewers is a tough task and this demonstrates that design is also an art and not only a science. The most important quality of a design is a very subjective matter, each individual has his viewpoint and none may offer a precise formula. In spite of that, each designer has a classification that is reflected in the works done. I offer here my perspective and I try to explain it but as I mentioned, it depends on each one mentality therefore there may be lots of adepts of this idea but many others may disagree with. To make the post more useful I ask for the opinion of each reader, the more, the better.

1. A design must be functional

The design isn’t anymore just how a thing is looking, it’s more and the work of the designer is pretty complex. Being functional is the primordial quality of any design because by lacking it, the product is zero, what can do someone with an item that does nothing?

Any design must be useful; the user should easily understand its purpose and how to use it. Many designers strive to make everything simpler because this way, the design is more functional which isn’t totally correct. A simple design has great chances of being easy to understand and used by all people, no matter how skilled they are but this doesn’t mean that it is truly functional. Briefly, the conclusion is simple, don’t make the common confusion between simple and functional, there are enough complex designs that are very functional.

2.  A design must be beautiful

A really quality design is more than functional, it’s necessary to exist, but the success is a sum of other features. A very important one is the pleasant aspect of it. From a layout of a website to the design of a chair or car it must be eye-catching for the people. Imagine a car that is reliable, efficient, low consume, but it is looks horrible, there is nothing aesthetically, would you buy it?

 The beauty of a design attracts people while being functional makes them to fell in love with and buy. The harsh concurrence and the multiple solutions available for the potential buyers raise the standards and the functionality of a design is something normal, it even shouldn’t be put in doubt.

3.  A good design is accessible

The world is moving fast and people are very different. These two stats, having almost no visible connection between them are vital for the success of a design. A product is judged only if someone may use it and establishes an opinion, if the individual can’t use it or the access is restricted, from the start won’t appreciate the respective product.

The accessibility of any design is nowadays an imperative and the best example is the web design: a website is accessed from a handheld device but also from a giant screen, using a high-speed connection or a very slow one but no matter by the circumstances it must be rendered perfectly for everyone. An inaccessible design limits the number of users and it means less people ready to praise your job.

4.  An original design has a bigger chance to be liked

The wishes and the expectations of common people are much higher than the potential and the possibility of the designers and many times a design is considered as a replica of an old one. The originality of any design is as a magnet for people and if it looks nice and is functional, then it may be called masterpiece.

Unfortunately, 100% originality is 99% impossible because the multitude of the solutions offered can’t let the maneuvering space for something totally new but in spite of that the designers pull forward the limits of conventional design.

Definitely, the features of good design are more numerous but I don’t want to scary too much the amateurs or the new entry designers, these from this post are universal but each project has its own specificity and it’s impossible to enumerate all the necessary qualities.


Bogdan is the founder of Top Design Magazine. You can find him in Bucharest-Romania so next time you want to drink a beer there and talk about web and stuff, give him a message.