Sunday, May 29, 2011

Functionality vs. Aesthetics?

Design is not just what it looks like and feels like. Design is how it works.” – Steve Jobs.

This is one of my favorite design quotes because it ties in both aesthetics and functionality. While it’s not imperative these two go together; however, when they do and work well together it can be amazing.

Of course, the harmony of functionality and aesthetics seems like a no brainer, it’s typically not that easy to achieve.
As stated in Alan Cooper’s book, About Face 3: The Essentials of Interaction Design, “… the people who are most often responsible for the creation of our digital products rarely take into account the users’ goals, needs, or motivations, and the same time tend to be highly reactive to market trends and technical constraints.”

In working in corporate environments, I have seen this constant struggle between the IT department and the business. Even with the best business requirements, the IT department still has a lot of power especially if the business has no technical expertise, which is normally the case. To me this in between role, many times the business analyst or UX consultant, is the key to achieving the best design without sacrificing functionality.

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