Noah Stokes shared this sentiment on Twitter yesterday:
I feel like responsive design has sucked the soul out of website design. Everything is boxes and grids. Where has the creativity gone?
The Invisible Aspects of Design
“Does it work?”
It’s a simple question really, but I’ve always found myself having to fight to make just basic functionality a priority. I’ve spent years making what I call Beautiful Pieces of Shit—designs that look lovely but are barely usable and/or useful. And it’s sad to see otherwise wonderful content rendered entirely useless for the sake of “design.”
There are invisible aspects of design. Accessibility is a design feature. Performance is a design feature. Intuitiveness is a design feature. And thanks to the rise of this whole host of connected devices, those invisible aspects of design are finally coming to the forefront.
So it’s not that “creativity” is gone, it’s just that we’re starting to move beyond simple aesthetics and understand design in a holistic sense.
Here’s the kicker: this conversation happened on Branch, a poster child of fine design work that “holds the promise of a new platform for dialogue on the web”. But here’s the rub:
Is this good design?
No it isn’t.
A big goal of design is to evoke emotion from the person interacting with whatever it is you create. These scenarios certainly evoke emotions, but they’re definitely not the ones creators had in mind.
I’ll take a “soulless” design that I can actually access over a Beautiful Piece of Shit any day. I’m confident that we’ll be able to address the invisible aspects of design while still being able to craft visually-stunning experiences.