The Doubt of Purpose


Memorable experiences lie within the right design. Yes. “Right” design. Not “Good” design. There’s a noticeable difference. I was walking down the lane the other day and noticed a horrible (read "depressing") board. It was a board advertising cheap internet plans by a new service provider. And the plan was good, but the presentation is screwed up.The colours were red on a bright blue background. there were at least 3 different fonts on stage there. I just cribbed rhetorically in my mind. " Where is good design? Why isn't any attention paid to detail and the experiences it can create? Will this board serve it's purpose?" I walked on with a straight face. Now I am in the park. There are a few birds chirping and there are a few kids running around. I notice a person working on a Macbook. I stared at it for a brief 24 seconds. Though I highly respect and admire the design of Apple products, an equal amount of dismay passes through me on the fact that it is un-affordable for a majority of the Indian audience. At this point, I also have a hard time accepting the popular rip-offs of Apple products, both direct or inspired designs by various other product manufacturers because it mimics the appearance but disappoints you as it just doesn't reach the kind of standard Apple has set in terms of industrial design. And this disappoints me. I mean, if imitation is the best form of flattery - at least flatter well? Then dawns a realization. Late, as usual. Good design cannot exist everywhere. It must not exist everywhere. The value of something is only realized only in it's absence. Moving on. Talking of Apple, what makes it phenomenal? It's the attention to detail and precision in sculpting experiences, that feels tailored for every user that makes Apple what it is. I value Apple products because of their unique design language that has been incorporated into it's products to make them as intuitive and unobtrusive as it can get, at the same time providing a space for exploration. As a result, it feels natural and delivers an invisibly engaging experience. It feels like a sophisticated tool, more than a polished product. Then the problem struck me. If such design prevails everywhere, it's importance will never be identified. It creates an abundance of something good, which is not good. Then everything will just become a copy of a copy of a copy, which I fear has already begun. Swimming back to reality, staring at the Apple logo on the Mac book, I smirked at it. The guy just looked up at me and gave a briefly cold look. Being a designer, one of the most terrible thoughts to encounter is the doubt of purpose. It gets hard at times to define something. Sometimes, it gets you thinking to the extent of questioning if there should even be a purpose. I got up and left, still in a train of incoming thoughts. As I was heading back home, I saw that board again. This time, however, my mind silently passed it. Maybe there wasn't a need for design there after all. Maybe it did serve it's purpose but just lacked a serious aesthetic presence.

Takeaway : Design when it's needed, not wanted


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