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Designers Needed

Posted on | May 1, 2010 | No Comments

I went to the first TEDx at Berkeley last weekend.  It was an exciting and well organized event, very “Berkeley” in spirit, as my former coworker at Life360 (a Berkeley Incubator startup), and a Berkeley graduate, described it.  The event brought people of various disciplines together, but the underlying theme that united all speakers was ‘Doing the unprecedented’.  Speakers ranged from underwater photography guru Eric Cheng (www.wetpixel.com) to UC Berkley Men’s Octet… Very fun.

One talk that stood out for myself was Fred Dust’s (Partner at IDEO) discussion titled “Designers Needed”.  Unfortunately, I couldn’t find the presentation anywhere online to repost, but the idea was simple:  much design improvement can be done in all areas of our lives, and there aren’t enough designers to take on these jobs.  Solution:  by applying a few most important design principles, anyone can make good design decisions.

I cannot agree more.

Many developers and early stage entrepreneurs, given the lack of funding, take the first stab at design of their websites and apps.  Later on, they often bring in professional designers who end up taking apart V1 and redoing everything entirely.  A lot of time and money could be saved by applying a few basic principles of good design at the beginning.  Putting effort into understanding what drives your users, practicing empathy for your company’s customers really pays off in the end.

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