It takes a lot of hard work and heartache to take an invention from concept to reality. And, just like any creative industry, product design isn’t sunshine and lollipops all of the time. Not even the great inventor Thomas Edison had a good day every day. So here are a few of our favourite inspirational quotes to help put some vigour back in to your designing process:
“Every great design begins with an even better story.”
Just like life, design is all about stories.
As designers, we are asked to create great experiences for the users, but to do this we first need to truly understand the user and form a narrative – a story – to appreciate their potential needs.
These stories help guide us to walk in their shoes and ultimately understand their perspective, in order to make a better product.
“Simplicity is the soul of modern elegance”
Although Blass was talking about fashion, his quote applies just as well to programming, and just about everything else in life as well.
If a design is made simple – simple to use, to read, to see – and nothing more can be taken away that impacts its function, then it is truly elegant.
The apple’s mac OS is the perfect example of this. If you look historically, you will find that the mac OS has actually changed very little since its original version. On the other hand, Windows changes things up all the time! Windows 95, 98, Vista, 8, 8.1, 10, Windows 11…
“Your time is limited, so don’t waste it living someone else’s life. Don’t be trapped by dogma—which is living with the results of other people’s thinking. Don’t let the noise of others’ opinions drown out your own inner voice. And most important, have the courage to follow your heart and intuition.”
This quote is really pertinent in today’s digital society.
Design should be about using your skill and intuition to discover new ways to do things; through failure and experimentation. But nowadays there is a damaging tendency to default to searching other people’s solutions before even attempting to find your own idea.
The expectation and noise of social media has created this false belief that you need to get to the polished solution before even working out what the problem is you are trying to solve.
“If you can’t make a mistake, you can’t make anything.”
This is one of my all-time favourite inspirational quotes. And sums up my approach to design in a nutshell. No concept, design, invention – no ‘thing’ – comes about perfect on the first go.
Whatever you’re doing: try, try and try again. Test it, develop it, build it, improve it.
And after all that trying and testing, when you’re happy with what you’ve done, launch version 1 – and start working on the next build.