(Step back everyone, I’m going to talk about design.)
I actually prefer, “Make me care.” Which is found in the poster I have at my desk. (I hide when the kiddos come around the office during the holidays.)
The answer to the question, “why should I care?” should be infused into any design. Sometimes it’s evident in the solution – but oftentimes, it’s a great fundamental question to continually ask. I think it keeps designers honest and focuses efforts on the big picture.
Continuing this line of thinking leads to, “make it awesome”. Which is one way of ensuring your design is novel, innovative, *simple*, etc. But I think there is another meaning to make it awesome – a more subjective definition. The question is this:
Does the design problem meet the designers expectation of what they should be designing? Is the design problem a good match for the designer? Does the designer feel that the design problem is worth designing for? And can they make it awesome to their standard? (which may be pretty damn high).
This line of thinking has followed from my position that where you allocate your time and attention defines what you find important. Why should you design a solution for a problem that cannot meet your standard? Why should you not spend your time on (activities) that meet your standard. I think this is true across pursuits, whether they are athletic, scholarly, artistic… there should be a standard of engagement with anything you decide to pursue, and that standard should meet or exceed your expectation.
Regarding reality. There is aspiration and there is reality. Moon shots always. Reality will be your guide, results will be your guide. But to resign yourself to a low aspiration and never meet your expectation… could lead to a life of regrets.
Lastly – and this is where everything I just wrote goes out the window. Sometimes the process of determining your standard of what awesome is… and matching a design solution to a problem that meets your expectation… well – sometimes this *is* the design problem. The Big Design problem.
- Make me care
- Make it awesome
If you can’t answer the first and do the second, rethink what you’re doing.