Designer qualities and implications

Based on the major influences of Scandinavian design you can derive 10 qualities of a good designer .

  1. Integrity
  2. Thoughtful
  3. Sensitive and emotional
  4. Passionate
  5. Honest and transparent
  6. Genuine
  7. Emphatic
  8. Respectful
  9. Confident
  10. Courageous!
  • A good designer has integrity and courage. She/he stands up for her/his values and principles and for what is best for the user, the society and for the environment. A good designer takes conflicts with the business driven people within the organisation. A good designer creates the best possible solution for all stakeholders (user, society and environment) given a certain budget, however the financial constraints must never make the designer compromise her/his values and design principles
  • A good designer has a genuine interest and passion to understanding the underlying needs of the user and the problem and meeting these needs and solving the problem with the most simple solution possible
  • A good designer shows empathy for the user and wants to solve its basic needs
  • A good designer never just give the customer what she/he wants
  • A good designer never proposes things that are in conflict with her/his core values and ethics. All expressions are personal and evidence of her/his own values and principles. These values and principles must comply with the company she/he works for and with the customer. Otherwise she/he must either lobby to change the values/principles of the company/customer or change company, refuse the customer. “Bad design” means a “bad designer”. There are no excuses! A designer is an artist. The expression of an artist is always personal. The artwork always expresses her/his values and principle
  • A good designer does not only listen to what the customer thinks she/he wants but proposes solution that truly meets its needs and comply with core values and design principles. The designer proposes the best and simplest possible solution to the problem that comply to the core values and key principles that make a positive contribution to the customer and to society and the least impact to the environment
  • A good designer removes excess in all aspects, reducing unnecessary features, reduce complexity and make the solution as simple as possible. But not simpler!
  • A good designer show empathy for the planet, its ecosystems and strives to create solutions with minimum environmental impact
  • A good designer shows respect for materials. She/he does not try to manipulate the users perception instead always present the product in a fully transparent way using genuine materials cheap or expensive. Exclusivity lies not in choice of the materials but in the treatment and respect of them. Honesty and transparency is exclusivity.
  • A good designer designs genuinely from inside out. Craftmanship! The inside is as important as the outside. Or the inside creates a foundation from which the outside follows. If the skeleton is well designed you rarely need much design on the outside. There must never be any conflict between the design of the inside to the design of the outside. Space technology is an example of this. Apple products as well. For Steve Jobs the design of the circuit board was as important as the outside. It must all be consistent. Therefore it is also a designer’s responsibility that the inside (backend) is as well designed and organised as the front-end.
  • A good designer is confident and courageous and can stand by simplicity, honesty and transparency. Less is more!