Designers are not a Panacea

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This is a really interesting food for thought piece. Our community as of late has been engrossed with headlines about designers starting new companies, designers getting hired at other huge companies, and designers designing designs.

On one hand it’s thrilling to see design getting the attention it deserves, but design remains unique in and of itself. There’s this feeling of wanting to say ‘finally business gets it’ when we see the news of companies affording more resources to the design aspects of their project, but as per Designers are not a Panacea it’s important to think about the wildly successful companies that started out just as engineers and then brought on the design.

It’s a thought provoking concept: Google’s UI was the bane of existence to many people, designers or not. They’ve prevailed beyond many expectations time and time again. Even the new UI is hated by many, but they’re still using it. Does that mean the engineering is what counts? Would Instagram have the story it now does if it didn’t look great from the start, and then get greater over time? Or does it too have success due to the engineered back end? Are these companies who first started with engineers and then progressed to a focus on design from a time gone passed? Has the Web matured to a state where design is now a must?

I don’t have answers to these, but it’s thought provoking to me.