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Proton

Posts: 19 Joined: 29 Sep 2006 Location: Penang, Malaysia

Post subject: Designers VS Client

Posted: Mon Oct 09, 2006 6:02 pm

What kind of design process are you looking at? I'm not so clear with this!

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nurul

Site Admin Posts: 88 Joined: 20 Sep 2006 Location: Melbourne, Australia

Post subject: Design Process

Posted: Wed Oct 11, 2006 6:38 pm

Hi Proton,

When designers, or artist design or create artefact.. all that matters is the design outcome...i mean if it for the client (talking from my personal experiences designing in Malaysia).

My question is do designers or people who involved in creative practices value the process of making it?

After a while it's not about making the outcome look good...i think it's about the whole process of designing...

Idea

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Aziz

Posts: 9 Joined: 09 Oct 2006 Location: Petaling Jaya

Post subject:

Posted: Wed Oct 11, 2006 6:52 pm

If "designers or people who involved in creative practices value the process of making it" I have a problem to comment to. What I could say, and if I were a designer, I would value the process of making it accurately equivalent to the amount of money the client pays for ... Laughing

Maybe the perspective is too much from point of view of a marketeer, well - I said I'm not a designer, so better someone from 'within the industry' could help out ....

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Proton

Posts: 19 Joined: 29 Sep 2006 Location: Penang, Malaysia

Post subject:

Posted: Thu Oct 12, 2006 10:27 am

Aziz wrote "if I were a designer, I would value the process of making it accurately equivalent to the amount of money the client pays for..."

I know that money is important, but if we designer or others who's involved in this area, did'nt value our own practice process then who will.... We will end up just being a 'machine' or a 'dtp' artist...nothing from our point of view is valued except the outcome...I kind of agree with Nurul..

Perhaps because i'm looking it from designers point of view!

Cool
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nurul

Site Admin Posts: 88 Joined: 20 Sep 2006 Location: Melbourne, Australia

Post subject:

Posted: Wed Oct 25, 2006 5:42 pm

I seldom find it's hard to play designers role and consumer at the same time. Until I can find the similarity in both. I belived that designers have to lead the client, or at least try to consult the client. Designer is not a machine as Proton said, which is true. We play main roles in creating the process. We also participate in the end-user process as a consumer. Similar to branding process nowadays, it's more sort of consumers world now, no more brand world. Brand have to follow what consumers want, not the other way round like 10 years ago. Recently I saw news in SBS, that McDonald actually tried to take away the word 'fast' from the 'fast-food'. It is because McDonald and other similar company realised that the consumer are educated and aware of the 'fast-food' impact in their life. So the company plan new strategy. To cut it short, what I want to emphasize here is, designer' (of any kind) can contribute in changing the way consumer think. From the process of creating the product to the image. We also discuss about this in 'Branding Malaysia' topic if you want to know more. Idea

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phayung

Posts: 6 Joined: 27 Oct 2006 Location: malaysia

Post subject: process of design

Posted: Sat Oct 28, 2006 5:14 pm

hi, i m new here.
I study architecture, which involve in deisgn all the while.
When u r in school, wat concern u much is ur whole ideas and concept.
but when u r out of schhool, all the things become more reality, client only k about the products and how the products make money.

But for the designer himself, or herself, i think it is about the process of making tthe products either a building, a logo design or other product design, ENJOY while design is the most important thing to do........ Very Happy

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nurul

Site Admin Posts: 88 Joined: 20 Sep 2006 Location: Melbourne, Australia

Post subject:

Posted: Mon Oct 30, 2006 3:55 pm

Hi Phayung, welcome onboard. I agree with you, the process of making is much more important for designer while designing but it seem like the client is more concern about is the product can make money. But then don't you think that designer also need to consult their client about the process. Perhaps the 'communication' between designer and the client breakdown in the process.

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Proton

Posts: 19 Joined: 29 Sep 2006 Location: Penang, Malaysia

Post subject:

Posted: Wed Nov 01, 2006 7:50 pm

I agree with you nurul, but in reality, the client seems to be very much important than the designer. Unless if the designers is working on their own. But if the designer is working with a company, like the marketing people always said, customer always right! Wink
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nurul

Site Admin Posts: 88 Joined: 20 Sep 2006 Location: Melbourne, Australia

Post subject:

Posted: Wed Nov 01, 2006 10:02 pm

Aha! Proton, you right too, customers always right! I heard that somewhere before! What do other think about this? Cool

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Chris Kueh

Posts: 21 Joined: 12 Oct 2006

Post subject: process of design vs design outcome as a process (long post)

Posted: Fri Nov 24, 2006 7:42 pm

Dear all,

Sorry for my silence over the weeks but I'm back!

Interesting topic! Two things I find missing, or not being make explicitly in the conversation: 1) user; 2) design outcome as a process.

1) User
The last post mentioned about 'customers are always right', that's very important. Now I am to bring this a little further. The international design industry is rapidly moving towards user-centred and emotional design. This way of designing focuses the entire design process on how users are to use the design.

I personally find this perspective very important to build the relationship between clients and designers. See, based on my experience and observation, there are two tensions between the two parties: a) experienced and established designers (at times we also call them "famous designers") will design by 'intuition' and approach their clients with the attitude of 'I am the creative one, I am the DESIGNER, you should listent to me'; b) Rich and big clients most of the times approach a design project with the attitude of 'I am the one paying, you should listen to me'. From my own perspective, these two tensions will not with any chance produce effective design, because users are totally left out of picture.

The way I approach a design project is always to focus on user's perspective. I will very firstly clarify to clients that I am not designing the outcome for myself as a designer, nor I am designing it for the clients. I will emphasise that I am designing for the client's clients, who will be the end users. From this perspective, a designer position her/himself with the clients on the same line, and working towards the same goal of making the design outcome meaningful/functional to the users, and most importantly, to MAKE MONEY. This will at one time dissolve the tension between designers and clients, while benefiting the users' experience in using the design outcome.

2) Design outcome as a process
I do remember I've addressed this issue somewhere in this forum but under another topic. Yes, the process of design is important to designers. Apart from enjoying it, such process is where designers reflect on themselves and to improve. However, there's another kind of 'process' involved in a design: the designed outcome is itself an interaction process between the design and users.

In this case, a design (may it be an advertisement, a building, or a chair) is both an object and a process. It is an object because it exists in the environment as a 'thing'. It is a process because it function within the environment, with users/people, and establish some kind of 'conversation'. For example, the process of a shopping mall is to accommodate people in a comfortable environment that they can buy things that they need/want; a chair is simply an object that satistify people's sitting process.

In this case, whatever a designer is designing, s/he is constructing a process that involve an object that is capable of generating 'conversations' with user. This is why emotional design is so important. When we design a poster or packaging, we must not design it as it is. We have to instead focus on designing an experience that trigger your target audience's emotion. More and more, people are functioning in a state that they are thinking without thinking. For example, recent research showed that people take only 1/4 of a second to decide whether or not to continue browsing a website! And what determine this decision is a process, based on emotion.

Having said all these, I hope I am not confusing anyone. What I am trying to suggest is that designers, apart from glorifying and apperiating own process of design as an art/enjoyment, the design outcome itself is an interaction process. And that's why designer-client relationships have to shift to one that is focusing on users, but not on either side.

Cheers,
Chris

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nurul

Site Admin Posts: 88 Joined: 20 Sep 2006 Location: Melbourne, Australia

Post subject:

Posted: Mon Nov 27, 2006 3:31 pm

Quote:
In this case, whatever a designer is designing, s/he is constructing a process that involve an object that is capable of generating 'conversations' with user. This is why emotional design is so important. When we design a poster or packaging, we must not design it as it is. We have to instead focus on designing an experience that trigger your target audience's emotion . More and more, people are functioning in a state that they are thinking without thinking.


Designing an experience, I dont know if this related to what Chris wrote but I get inspired by Bill Gaver in his work about 'Cultural Probes' in my research a lot. To design an experience, I personally think designer need to understand the user and their behavior. Gaver and his team did many experiment to interpret the behavior of people before to start designing product to them. He came up with playfulness and open-ended methods to find the new form of engagement between the designers and the user. Also as way of exploring the whole situation. In this case, my guess there is no client. And there is also no money involved.

I like the idea of researching through design. Learning through experience, as I think designer by nature like to design or create things. By doing this we understand more about the user and perhaps this experiences can add into the next level of designing process.

Any thought? Laughing
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Neal

Posts: 3 Joined: 05 Dec 2006

Post subject: why?

Posted: Tue Dec 05, 2006 3:49 pm

Hi to all,

I am a practicing communication designer, a design educator and design student in the process of completing a research masters (project led research) in communication design at RMIT in Melbourne.

Nurul asked me to have a look at this discussion. I don't have a lot of time just now but I do have a comment which may or may not help develop this dialogue.

Why are we designing?

Chris' point:
....We have to instead focus on designing an experience that trigger your target audience's emotion......

Is Chris saying here that our job as designers is to understand the target audience so completely that we are in a position to design an artefact or system which activates our chosen audience in a specific way?

I would say that in a case such as this, where the underlying intent is to articulate a Malaysian Identity through design, then perhaps it is more useful to act as a part of that community, rather than act from outside with a would-be omnipotent viewpoint.

What is it to design from within the community you are designing for? Effectively one is designing for oneself, consequently if the design is patronising, manipulative, or condescending, then the designer is exposed in the same way the "target audience" is. The designer takes responsibility (and the wrap) for his or her actions...

I would say it is impossible to "understand" an audience; to determine that if "we do this, they will do that"... this sort of understanding only operates at a very basic "big stick" level. However, if we, as designers, are part of a design process (along with the client and audience), and that process is connected to the community we are working towards articulating, then the outcome will be part of that community. It wont be authoritative, it will be one voice among many, but it will be authentic.

This as opposed to the "we know what you want model"....

what do you think?

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nurul

Site Admin Posts: 88 Joined: 20 Sep 2006 Location: Melbourne, Australia

Post subject:

Posted: Tue Dec 05, 2006 4:31 pm

Hi Neal, Welcome on board. Thanks for the interesting post. Please correct me if I got it wrong.

Quote:
Neal wrote - I would say it is impossible to "understand" an audience; to determine that if "we do this, they will do that"... this sort of understanding only operates at a very basic "big stick" level. However, if we, as designers, are part of a design process (along with the client and audience), and that process is connected to the community we are working towards articulating, then the outcome will be part of that community. It wont be authoritative, it will be one voice among many, but it will be authentic.


It's true that it's not easy to understand what audience want, perhaps if we put ourself in the audience shoes might help us designer to design. It's not easy to design without a brief or audience. I like what Neal wrote about the design process that related to the community and it became part of the community. Also very much interesting to see the authoritative part of the design process and idea of creating authenticity.

Hmm... Shocked
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Chris Kueh

Posts: 21 Joined: 12 Oct 2006

Post subject:

Posted: Wed Dec 06, 2006 1:11 am

Thanks Neal and Nurul for the comments. This is getting more interesting.

Neal has a point of designers cant be an 'outsider' analysing users as subjects in a scientific way. I do agree. But perhaps I need to clarify 'user-centred approach' a little more, it is a very important design method today that emphasises on bringing in user-behaviour as the basis to a design process, where designers are actively involved in constructing design outcomes. Designers in this way (from my point of view) needs to be part of the process.

On the other hand, I've got issues with the idea of designing for oneself. Yes, in some circumstances, a designer can take her/himself as part of the audience. This is so when the designer and the users are from the same or similar cultural/sociological/ideological background. The problem comes in when designers are dealing with aspects that are out of their context. This is often the case in design industry. For examples:

1) a designer who is a hardcore Jimi Hendrix follower is given the project of advertising Justin Timberlake's new image (difference of ideological value), s/he then need to understand what JT's fans are looking for in him;

2) a product designer in her/his 20s of age is engaged in designing a walking-assistant-vehicle for the elderly (difference of requirement and need);

3) a designer who grows up in the United States who's given the project to promot environmental issues in Cambodia (cultural differences).

The list can go on forever. These are all instances that designers need to look into users' understanding and behaviour as basis to the design process. While saying so, the designers also need to be part of the process. So in response to Neal's view on designing from 'within the community', I think in many situations when the design jobs are out of the designer's context, the first step is to really understand the audience before s/he can be part of the community.

For more thorough understanding of user-centred approach, and it's importance and application in current design industry, there are few ways to start:

1) do have a listen to podcast on http://www.lunar.com/podcast/index.html Lunar design is an international product design firm. While practising, they are actively involved in exploring the boundaries of current design trend. Do subscribe, it's for FREE!

2) Have a read on 'The Semantic Turn' by Klaus Krippendorff. It's a very recent book (2006) and easy to understand.

3) check out also experiential and emotional design.


As a believer of user-centred design, I do see that it is possible for us to understand user, and it's very important because the ways people use things change on daily basis. By saying so, i do also welcome any other perspectives on design today.

Cheers,
Chris

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Chris Kueh

Posts: 21 Joined: 12 Oct 2006

Post subject:

Posted: Wed Dec 06, 2006 1:16 am

Hi all ...

Miss out this bit (just realise i've been doing this alot, always post messages 2-3 times in a roll), Neal wrote:

I would say it is impossible to "understand" an audience; to determine that if "we do this, they will do that"... this sort of understanding only operates at a very basic "big stick" level ...

Just to clarify, user-centred approach is based on "they are doing this, so we design this to improve how they do things"

cheers,
Chris

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