An interesting way to think about design

A designer on my team at my internship told me this over dinner. I’m by no means a designer at all, but this example was an amazingly simple way to examine how good a certain design is.

Think of all design as a circle. All of the stuff people are used to is inside of the circle.

All of the weird stuff that people aren’t used to or haven’t seen before is outside of the circle.

Designers can’t be exclusively in one of these areas. It just won’t work out for the product. Instead, we try to be here, on the edge of the circle. In between what’s weird and what works.

That’s what I try to do anyway.

If there’s anything I’ve learned from my internship so far, it’s that design is extremely underrated among engineers. It’s what provides differentiation and emotion to the things you are actually building.

I’m going to think more about this circle from now on.

(The name of the designer is Will Newton. He’s pretty cool; here’s his portfolio.)