Design Is Communication

This week we are launching a website that I really like because of its clean, simple design and really cool animated features. The simplicity of it allows the animation to stand out. Internally, we get excited about a good design, and enjoy complimenting each other or giving suggestions to push it farther and make it better or more functional. It is often a different experience showing designs to people outside of work. My friends’ responses are sometimes different than I expect. They see the overall result, and don’t see the thought that went into the navigation, the cool programing snippets, or behind-the-scenes creativity. They don’t know the technical skill it took to make either side of the website extend with different backgrounds and they don’t eye the design with special appreciation for the smoothness of the Bezier curves in an illustration or an animation.

Sometimes I’m tempted to point out those little details to explain what an achievement it was to do those things. But I’m more likely to wait until I’m around one friend in particular who likes to say, tell me something you’d like to brag about! I do try to spare those friends who aren’t actually very interested in art or websites or design at all! There are a fair amount of people I know who don’t even discuss their work at all with excitement, because it is mostly a way to pay the bills.

Sometimes I get more response for illustrations, perhaps because they are more personal and tell a story as opposed to a design that is a particular arrangement of abstract shapes, colors, and text. I can understand that. It would be like me trying to follow an explanation of a math formula. Mathematicians have it much worse when it comes to sharing their work with other people. Like speaking, design of any form is a communication, and often also translation of a client’s message or an image they want to project. And just like communication, it is most satisfying when it’s understood and enjoyed by others.

We’re all lucky here at DDA to work with each other because we have a lot to get excited about, sharing behind-the-scenes achievements or appreciating each others’ work, every day.