Design to Solve a Problem, Not to Use a Technique

Skeuomorphism vs flat design, responsive vs device specific, web vs native app… These are all heated debates of past and present. I say let’s get past shiny object syndrome. Last year we were pushing RWD like it was the only solution to the device diversity issue. This year we are touting flat design like skeumorphism was never a good approach. But in both cases the debates are short-sighted. Every approach can be effective in the right context.

Technology evolves quickly and it’s easy to get caught up in the new cool thing. It’s OK to be excited by change. Innovation is not only good, it’s necessary. But you can’t lose sight of what we are here to do… solve problems.

Don’t pick a solution before the problem is analyzed. Never assume that things should only be designed a particular way. Everything technique has its place… even “undesign,” sites that are intentionally ugly or minimalist can be effective in the right context.

Rather than get caught up in debates over which approach is better, why don’t we discuss when to use a particular solution, device or strategy? That’s the type of discussion I want to be a part of.