I’ve previously asserted that Design is not Problem Solving.
Design can be pro-active.
Design can be strategic, recognising opportunities.
Design makes change happen and not just by solving problems.
I assert there’s a better way to consider design. That’s the verb.
What if we consider design as an act of answering questions?
Questions asked of and by designers.
What do we see?
The questions may come in the form of a Brief, from a client. They’re essentially in the form of “How might I achieve this…?”
Curious designers may also hear questions asked by people other than a client. Rhetorical questions or questions genuinely seeking an answer. They key, in this case, is that the questions are not asked directly of the designer. These questions present themselves as an opportunity to the curious and proactive designer.
Curious designers may also identify questions that needed asking. Unprompted. Here’s another opportunity to be pro-active.
Answering the questions well is important. Design fails when it fails to answer the questions.
The best designs are realised when the original questions are followed up with better questions. This allows for iteration and refinement. Further questions lead to an understanding of what is behind the original questions. Honing and zeroing in on a better, even more succinct answer.
Now that you’re considering design as an act of answering questions, does it change the way you might approach design? Does it assist in identifying more opportunities for you as a designer?
How might you better draw upon this insight?
Here’s another question to ponder…
Do designers spend too much time on promoting answers, rather than asking good questions?