Talking about Good Design

So what exactly is Good Design? I know what I think is good and I certainly know what I think is awful. Everyone has their own opinion when it comes to design. Is that a bad thing? Of course not. It just makes the designer's job that much more challenging and rewarding all at the same time. Often I deal with clients who have very strong opinions on colors, fonts and 'fancy' decorations. So how do we deal with a client who simply says 'I Don't Like it!'? Well you should go read Jeff White's blog post at Kula Partners. He knows!

A couple of days ago I tweeted out the phrase "Good Design is Good Business". I have heard this saying many times in the past but I never really grasped the importance of what it means. If you think about it, it really makes perfect sense. Anyone that is an entrepreneur wants to run a 'good business'. Actually I would have to say that every company wants to have a good business.  A good business can equate to many things, for example: it can lead to more sales, it can develop better customer relationships and it can even act as a solid foundation for word of mouth marketing. The better your business reputation is, the more likely your clients will talk about you and spread the word on how great your services are. Going forward I'm going to use this as a new motivator because for me, Good Design is Good Business.

A friend of mine @JessyO at Yonen Labs responded to my above tweet and said that Good Design is when a user or a client doesn't even notice the design at all. He said 'Good Design should feel natural'. Obviously, Jessy is brilliant. I think back to the first time I held an iPhone. I think back to the first time I got into my VW Golf. I even think of the first time I fired up Bioshock and how there was such a natural transition between the opening scene and the actual gameplay. Jessy has hit the nail on the head and I really think it ties in quite nicely to the phrase 'Good Design is Good Business'.

A very large part of a designer's job is communicating a client's offerings to their target end user or customer. I'm not just talking about pretty graphics and beautiful fonts here, I'm talking about organizing both the content and the design in such a way that it will portray a more effective message. I'm talking about keeping it clean and well organized. I'm talking about a better user experience for a customer. I'm talking about good design being used in an effective manner in which people will talk about your business and say it is a good one. When we as designer's can produce these 'Good Designs' for our clients we have succeeded at our job.

It's not always about about a flashy background image. It's certainly not about a startburst. It's not even about a new CSS3 trick that you just pulled off for the first time (okay some of those are awesome!). It's about communication and not getting in the way of your target audience. It's about streamlining your message to keep things simple. It's about speaking human (I learned this at AIM) and creating something beautiful. It's about having a clear message.

What do you consider Good Design?