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Digital Design Thinking

Design is no longer just about form anymore but is a method of thinking that can let you to see around corners. And the high tech breakthroughs that do count today are not about speed and performance but about collaboration, conversation and co-creation.”
Bruce Nussbaum

Looking at how the world changed in the past two decades we come to realize that entire industries have been disrupted by technological innovation and the use of design thinking as a methodology created improved experiences using the latest available technologies. Form no longer follows function since the introduction of the microchip. For example, if aliens could come to earth for the first time and saw a chair and a table they would immediately realize the function of those objects. However, design took a path towards digitization, where the introduction of the microchip enabled infinite functions on a single object, like a smartphone. The evolution of digital technologies forced designers to look beyond the form and function of an object’s single dimension, and examine a multidimensional range of possibilities that can be engineered and designed to bring out an infinite number of possible functionalities out of a single object with more tools available than ever before to help us design both useful, rich and beautiful interactions on devices with multiple screen dimensions, densities and orientations on software and hardware that keeps changing and evolving.

Digital designers have now evolved into something more than just pixel pushers. They learned how to craft systems rather than pages, with interfaces being merely the composition of multiple components. Design Thinking at its core is fundamentally about user empathy and in digital design, where users interact directly on the screen with their fingertips, we as digital designers need to always remember who is on the other side of our designs. And while physical products can be touched and interacted with, industrial designers are usually better when they design for users that will hold and feel their final products. In digital, thinking about designing products for the screen seems abstract, whether it’s a website or an application, the final product is actually an experience rather than just an interaction with a user interface. 

To help with my design process here at Blend, we are adopting certain design principles that make sure there is an alignment with our way of digital thinking, and that the user is always at the forefront of our designs with the user experience being the actual final product of our work.

Design solves problems
Design is not about how things look like, but how things work Steve Jobs said once, and design as a process addresses certain problems and situations with solutions. Design creates safer, faster, and frictionless results in our lives. It is the bridge that fills the gap between technology and humans.

Design is unanimous
Every user needs to understand the design elements intuitively, requiring almost no thinking, reaching the same conclusion without any conflicting thoughts, like engineering.

Design is observation and iteration.
To create progress in design, is to iterate and correct course based on careful observation of previous design objects, and exploit any discoveries. For example, in web design, users rather click on a button which looks physically similar to a real button, and design will exploit that knowledge to create such a button.

Design is creating for the user.
Design without an objective is merely created for design’s sake and it is then a work of art. Art is abstract and follows form, while design follows function. Artists never have the user in mind when creating art, and they love chaos and unpredictability. Designers always think of the end user, designing functional, easy to use objects, that simplify life, always placing themselves in the users’ shoes, leaving their own ego behind. And while each designer is unique, and applies a different process, the design process never conflicts with the end result. 

If we can help you with your design needs, we can be reached at info@blenddigital.com.

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Andreas Christofi
Andreas Christofi

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