Design with Intent
User-centered design is a method of designing for function and ease-of-use before anything else. The problem with this is that the designers involved are encouraged to not impose their biases onto the design process. This ties in with what we’ve already been talking about in class, which is whether it’s appropriate or even necessary for a designer to be an advocate for what he/she does. I think it actually boils down to whether a designer is passionate about design or not. A designer should always be an advocate on some level; design is problem-solving, and to solve a problem well, you must first give a shit. My point is that user-centered design is supposed to integrate seamlessly with the user’s needs and lifestyle. That’s something to advocate for, even if you leave your other personal biases out of it.
So then, is neutrality even possible as a designer? Can a designer truly be neutral? We’re always advocating for something; whether it’s “big” or “small.” I would argue that the only way to be truly neutral is to be apathetic. To be a designer is to give a shit about something, from the smallest aesthetic element to the largest conceptual project.
The Designer as Producer
The power of the future lies in the hands of designers who are also entrepreneurs. They can change the market. Hell, they can change the fucking world. I’ve always believed that straddling the line between design and, really, anything else is the key to success. For me, I try to keep one foot in design, while the other foot hops between development/programming and entrepreneurship (I do the hokey-pokey). This cross-discipline dance brings some new perspectives and innovation in each field I’ve stepped in. (That’s what it’s all about.)
An author is a creator with a voice. Which, yet again, ties into our semester-long conversation on design as an involved activity, rather than a passive, apathetic experience.
Authorship implies ownership, and ownership leads to a feeling of pride for one’s work. As the reading said so well, author = authority.
Another take on graphic authorship is the literal author who writes about design. In which case, all of us hold this position. (I mean, we all have blogs, do we not?)