What Is Good Design?

Topics: Aesthetics, Typography, Design Pages: 6 (1957 words) Published: August 5, 2013
Qualities of Good and Useful Design
(D) What is good design (Alice R)

Shirley Wang Xinyi | Student ID: 13323 | Class: DCT 1C

17th October 2011

Qualities of Good and Useful Design
(D) What is good design (Alice R)

Shirley Wang Xinyi | Student ID: 13323 | Class: DCT 1C

17th October 2011

Qualities of Good and Useful Design

Rawsthorn (2008) stated that ‘Whatever it is, and whatever other great qualities it has, it can’t be well designed if it doesn’t do something useful.’, thus saying it is nonnegotiable.

A lot of good designs or artworks are easily exposed these days, intentional or not, as the digital world and transport technology allows the artists or designers to bloom in full scale to an international level even if some are not intended. Whether just posting online or just putting up a poster by the streets, the digital world and the transport technology plays a big role on how communication is vastly expending around the world, especially the internet which largely improved on how art is becoming more easily exposed and advertised easily. Many oncoming sites like your all-famous Facebook and the artist networking site Deviantart, showing everyone online everything whether it is good or bad designs, useful or not in anyway. But are we capable of differentiating good design from bad design?

So, what are the qualities of a good design? Is there a definite definition of a good design? How can one determine if a design is useful or not? Does it really mean, as Rawsthorn has mentioned, that when something is not useful, it is not a good design? You may think that a good design is something useful but to think about it, we may wonder upon what is it that makes it useful? So what really is good design then?

An online article of an architectural design based magazine, Metropolis. Under which Pederson (2009) listed that Good Design is ‘Sustainable’, ’Accessible’, ‘Functional’, ‘Well Made’, ‘Emotionally Resonant’, ‘Enduring’, ‘Socially Beneficial’, ‘Beautiful’, ‘Ergonomic’, ‘Affordable’, seems to have setup the functionality of a Good Design that is usually considered of by a design critic. This list with the design principles as we learn about design through history, built the basis of what we call professionally done design works as we see today. Good Designs as we know or see today has most of the qualities in the list, intentionally or not. It is about the outlook and how it works for the individual or people, which matters. Take for example, your non biodegradable plastics. Even though plastic bags are becoming the new hate, being it environmentally unfriendly, as Rawsthorn stated, it was once a good design. Who wouldn’t want something that will last as long to keep your food fresh and still edible for a longer period of time, lightweight but enduring, waterproof and not as easily torn as the paper bags? Under mass production, Plastic bags are cheaper, beneficial (as to how it can store food and save your time and money on everyday groceries) and sustainable as it can be reused if one wishes to, thus it being a very ergonomic and affordable design then.

Another example of a good design is the creation of the computers. It is now advanced from the bulky desktop, to your friendly laptop and to your current smart phones and iPads that allows you easy and convenient access to your internet where ever you are. Think about the days where one have to book a lab or rush home just to use a computer, whereas these days where we can just find a Wi-Fi spot in McDonalds and just surf the net on your phone. How convenient!

More often than not we walk around the streets noticing signage telling us where we are or how to get to a place. It may not be especially attractive looking but it can still function as a road sign or a guide even without it having stylized text or a beautiful design. It may not be well designed, but it is functional as it is even if they are handwritten, provided that they are...

References: Alice Rawsthorn. (2008). What is a good design. http://www.nytimes.com/2008/06/09/arts/09iht-design9.1.13525567.html Last accessed 7th October 2011.
Martin C. Pederson. (2009). what is a good design. http://www.metropolismag.com/story/20090318/what-is-good-design Last accessed 14th October 2011
KING 5 News
WIKIPEDIA, The Free Encyclopedia. (2011). Design. Available: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Design Last accessed 15th October 2011
WIKIPEDIA, The Free Encyclopedia
Margaret Wolfe Hungerford, née Hamilton. (1878). Molly Bawn. Hurst and Company, New York.
Donald A. Norman. (2004). Emotional Design: Why we Love (Or Hate) Everyday Things. Basic Books, New York
Kurosu, M., & Kashimura, K
WIKIPEDIA, The Free Encyclopedia. (2011). Ergonomic Keboard. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ergonomic_keyboard Last accessed: 9 October
WIKIPEDIA, The Free Encyclopedia
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