Oct 24, 2018

What is design standards and why should you care?

Designers made a design decision all the time; we can design better together by establishing design standards upfront

Design standards are expectations between the designer and others, whether the clients, colleagues or your bosses.

Surprisingly, the best design standards are—your standards. It might not be the one that others follow, but it will be the one that helps you achieve your design goals.

You might notice that good design is hard to notice because it fits our needs so well, and does not draw attention to itself. I used these three standards (in order) to noticing a great design.

1. Does the design feel right?

Before we think, we feel. Does the typography feel right? How about Colour? Spacing? The basic foundations can make a significant impact on how people think.

Rationally, emotional always wins. We’re human, and we have bias; we unconsciously judge the design by its looks all the time. 

People gut feeling significantly influences their emotions which impact their actions. The outstanding design will be worthless if people do not interact with it.

2. Does the design solve the problems?

Great design must have a purpose and help people solve their problems. Not just good looking, but the design should influence usage and help people perform the tasks intuitively as intended.

A good design should always consider how people think and behave in a broader landscape. My professor once told me that a great design is never finish designing. As long as humans still have needs, things will keep changing. Designers should keep iterating the design to be relevant and serving them.

3. Does the design creative?

Without creativity, we just create another mediocrity stuff. It’s shallow innovation, and the world is full of that.

Creativity is a crucial standard in my design standards as it ensures that the designer will push the boundary and keep raising the bar. 

It’s easy to pull back if we go beyond expectation. But it’s hard to push beyond expected in the first place—but that could make all the difference.

Yesterday’s great is today’s mediocrity.

Why should you care about the design standards?

Most people approach the designer not because they can’t see the solution but because they can’t see the problem. The design standards are a great tool to highlight the problem before you approach any project.

In any project, use the design standards to identify if your design doesn’t feel right (Feeling), didn’t solve the right problem (Thinking), or lacks creativity (Sensing)?

Hence my design standard is based on Feeling, Thinking and Sensing.