How to describe and judge the design? My e-book Le Design tout simplement (in French), I mention some expressions related to the word design. So when we talk about design, you can refer to many expressions, which change over time according to innovation, which makes the definition of « design » a complex task. That’s why in my book, I make a restrictive definition of design, since the definition itself of design is expected to be modified over time. So, I chose to define the design as a method of treating issues related to the design, taking into account five main criterias, those usually mentioned in several definitions already available. Here’s my definition:
Design: A method to conceptualise what is both beautiful, practical, confortable, possible and profitable.
In this sense, one can describe and judge a design taking into account five criteria:
- Beauty, style, aesthetics.
- Practical functionality, functionalism.
- Comfortable: ergonomics, the ‘user-friendly. «
- Feasible: the technical, quality of production.
- Cost: the economic aspect, the return on investment, the impact on sales.
In fact, one can judge the quality of a design using a set of criteria, that is to say, a spreadsheet (like Excel
), with which there is the design on a scale value
(from 1 to 5, for example) for each criteria. This score changes over time, since changes in the design ensure that the design of yesterday may be less interesting than the design of today!
In short, value judgments based on a strict methodology is used to judge a design. However, we can rely solely on one criteria.Thus, it is relevant to consider in particular the economic aspect, revealing the impact of good design on the sales.
It is also relevant to analyze the impact of design on the imagination of consumers, which refers to the aesthetic, but also the economic aspect, referring to marketing.
Finally, according to the type of use of design, it is preferable to rely more on the technical, ergonomic and practical.Consider, for example an office chair (essentially a work of ergonomics and functionalism) or the design of a workstation in the factory (by the technical aspects such as security devices, but also the ergonomics are much value).