Human Centered Design ········· 2020

More Than A Pretty Color Palette
As designers, we often rely heavily on visual aesthetics for our designs to be “successful”. Form, Structure, and Style are thought to be indispensable communication tools that most creatives are quite familiar with. While these concepts hold importance in design practice, the most important step, research, is frequently overlooked.

Design is a field dominated by subjectivity, and Visocky O’Grady suggests turning to research to increase communications and overall success of our designs. I find the research phase of a project to be the most interesting, as well as the most important. Understanding the userbase is the first step to creating a solution to the problem at hand. The visual aesthetics are simply there to reinforce the solution found from various research methods.

“A research-driven approach can help define the way problems are solved and illustrate the value of those solutions” - O’Grady

One of the most enjoyable aspects of research-driven design, in my opinion, is when research findings and aesthetics are able to work together to strengthen a solution. For example, a designer may discover a particular color evokes certain emotions, and they may use this knowledge when designing the final product to reinforce the solution.

One thing is for sure - as designers, we can’t solely rely on aesthetics to communicate a solution to a problem. Dedicating time to research for a project helps to strengthen our arguments, reach our target audience, and overall improve the impact of a design.