interesting : important :: novelty : everyday

Ryan, pointing to a post by Matt, comments briefly: “… when we’re at our best, we shun novelty and design the everyday.” It reminds me of a comment Bruce Sterling made in his closing talk at IDEA (MP3), where he implored designers not to pursue and fetishize that which is interesting, but to engage in what is important. This is hard for designers to embrace, but it’s true.

In talking to Ryan about this on IM, I realized that this might be what’s at the heart of my struggles with the Design Community since I joined it. I addressed this is my (very long) conversation with GK van Patter, “…I’ve spent much of my career fighting small-minded design thought, particularly in the world of graphic design where the cool, novel, and stylish is lauded over the useful, usable, and truly deeply engaging. I have to point no further than the “interactive” design annuals published by the likes of Communication Arts or Print, which celebrate pretty screenshots instead of tools that solve real problems.”

One thought on “interesting : important :: novelty : everyday

  1. “…not to pursue and fetishize that which is interesting, but to engage in what is important. This is hard for designers to embrace, but it’s true.”

    Spot on!

    This is actually true for a wide variety of fields and industries than just UX or even product design.