Design: the nature of this term is so abstract and so broad it’s almost impossible to truly define. In a sense, everything is designed. However, not everything is designed well. Many people don’t realize how design is so much more than just aesthetics. It encapsulates everything from how something feels, to how a person interacts with it. To truly understand design is to understand human nature. The ability to analyze human interaction behaviour is important, because an intuitive experience usually ends with a positive result. The more an end user has to “figure out”, the more frustrated they will become.
Interaction design can occasionally feel like a thankless job, because a great user experience should be transparent in nature. As designers we should be striving to marry the principles of a seamless experience with beautiful aesthetics. For example, if you look at some of the best mobile applications in the world, they are a perfect blend of beautifully detailed interface elements, with a smooth and intuitive user experience. These aesthetics don’t compromise how one can interact with the app, but rather enhance it with key visuals and a unique style. The fact of the matter is, people are consciously and unconsciously enticed by visual design. However, if the tool is hard to use, it takes away from the experience.
A designer’s goal should never be to make something look nice. Designers solve problems, and they build products around solving these problems in the most effective manner possible. The aesthetics should be built around the interactions, because the interactions drive the product.