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  • Process: The Design Method

    15 September 2013

    When I first offered web design services on a part-time, freelance basis, I’ll admit: I was younger, more arrogant, and quite the novice - prone to amateur mistakes. Keeping that in mind, I quickly learned that a level of professionalism and good design practice was needed in my work, and I’ve pushed for that ever since. This is why I wanted to learn more about the best design processes to use, but investigating this has shown there are many different ways to do this! With so many possible approaches, it’s muddled, and a little bit confusing - you can only really learn which is best through practice and refinement.

    Buying Web Design books usually don’t help, there are many titles to choose from but most are not worth buying because they are nearly all void of real design methods. If they mention it at all, it’s a lip-service summary that only gives a vague idea of what you’re supposed to do. Books about HTML, CSS, or JavaScript don’t teach you anything about design either - not bad for entry-level web development, next to useless for design though!

    Okay, not all design books are bad… introducing: The Design Method - a new book by Eric Karjaluoto (Creative Director of SmashLAB).

    Eric previously wrote the excellent ‘Speak Human’ book, has written great articles on his blog ‘ideasonideas’, and conveys concepts in an easily understandable manner (sign of a good writer and designer). Importantly though, Eric also writes about design from a genuine understanding, crafted from years of full-time work, with much of it being successful.  So, when I was aware of ‘The Design Method’ book being written, earlier in the year, I was anticipating a book that I’d want to actually own - something useful, something that advocates using a good design method/process as a core approach.

    As I write this, I’m only half-way through the book, so far though, it’s right on the mark - a great book!  There’s also been a nice sense of validation for me, as I already use the ‘Only One Concept’ approach by default, suggested by Eric in Chapter 4.
    Inclusion of the Systems Approach to design has also made me sit up and take stock of how many businesses have been failed by poor design (it really shows, I’m seeing it all over the place right now!!)

    When I’ve finished the book, a more comprehensive review will follow (yes Eric - I’ll post it up on Amazon too) ;)

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The Design Method (New Riders)
'The Design Method' by Eric Karjaluoto
(New Riders).

Design-centric book about processes and how to be a better designer, from the Creative Director at the brilliant SmashLAB.
This was one book I pre-ordered on the first day possible!
Eric also wrote the very good 'Speak Human', which I also recommend.