One of the most valuable (and painful) lessons I’ve learned along my way is the ultimate purpose of design: to solve business solutions.
It might sound obvious, and it might be something most designers would intellectually deem to be true. But that doesn’t necessarily mean we embrace it.
It’s a challenge, as most of us went into design because we had some artistic talent, a creative eye, and an insatiable desire to create. We are driven by making something we’re proud of. This is true and present in every single project I work on. I want to design something, show it to the world, and I want them like it. This is a powerful motivator.
But effective design isn’t about me. It’s not about making something I’m proud of or can show off in my portfolio. It’s about crafting the perfect solution, through the means of strategic design, for the particular business problem someone has hired me to solve. The less it becomes about me as a designer, the better the end product will be for the client.
Design is a means, not an end in itself. This is something most designer’s learn the hard way. But once you do, and embrace it, you’re free from the tyranny of self-gratification and can truly focus on a thoughtful, intentional and creative solution that is appropriate for your client’s organization, audience and business objectives.
Design is a powerful tool. Employ it for the greater good of those you’re helping, and it’s impact will be abundantly greater.