Teach Design: The Importance of Failure

Posted: March 31, 2010 in Design, I Don't Know, Productivity
Tags: , , ,

I won’t pretend to know a lot about Samuel Beckett or his writing, but the notion of “failing better” resonates very strongly with me. Design is all about failure. It’s about taking an initial swag at something and seeing how it works. Does your design solve the problem? Does it create a delightful, intuitive experience? Not quite? Well, then tweak it. Rev it. Iterate it. The more you experiment, the more you iterate, the better.

Why is that? Well, when doing design work, you’re drawing up plans. But plans are just that—mental thoughts that you project on a subject matter. In the words of the architect Louis Kahn, you’re trying to create “meaningful order.” Order is pretty easy: Just pick and organizing principle or a pattern and you’ve got order. But meaningful? That’s the tricky part. What is meaningful? To whom is it meaningful? Is it universally meaningful or is it just meaningful to a particular audience? [read]

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