Aphorisms for (Software) Designers

1. Everything in life is ephemeral, don’t expect anything you design to live forever.
2. Use technology, don’t let it use you.
3. Be aware of what you make and what it says, because people live and die through all of the images we create.
4. We need more teamwork.
5. Have your cake and eat it too; participate in design “research.”
6. Have a backup plan.
7. Designers are not monkeys, they do not merely articulate.
8. New ideas are made every single day; unless you repeat yourself, it’s new. Don’t worry about whether or not the person next to you is doing it, or will do it.
9. Trust no one. No matter how original your idea seems, somebody else is looking to do it better, and probably cheaper.
10. Keep your enemies close. (See number 9.)
11. Media allegiance spells limitation. Think first, then choose what tools to use.
12. There’s nothing wrong with design that looks like art.
13. There’s nothing wrong with art that looks like design.
14. Think holistically.
15. Work in a style that maximizes your performance and well being.
16. Appreciate your audiences’ needs and team members’ skills.
17. Establish objectives prior to form.
18. Brainstorm. Fail frequently. Enjoy the element of play.
19. There are no truisms.
20. A connoisseur of design is not a designer.
21. Design history is not a chronicle of style; you cannot truly critique design unless you fully understand its history.
22. Ideology, thought, and agenda are as important as aesthetics.
23. Design without ego.
24. Statements like “Designers Don’t Think” are short-sighted at best.
25. There is always more than one solution.
26. There will always be revisions.
27. The entire process of design is its essence. Without process, we are left with merely style and solutions.
28. Aesthetic biases are and are not the purest form of design.

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