Most people are familiar with the form vs. function conversation. Many believe these exist on opposite ends of a spectrum, where the staunch pragmatist and zealous artist are opposed. This is a lie. The reality is that these are merely two pieces of a three-legged stool. The third piece is symbolism, or message. What does it say about me? My company? What I value? The way we conduct business? How we treat our employees or customers?
Where art is presentation, design is experience. Where engineering is functionality, design is usability. Where art and engineering are done in a vacuum, design is done in context – in society, in culture, in reality. It doesn’t just consider primary variables, but secondary and tertiary. Design is emotion and reaction and interaction. More than simply function, design is purpose. Good design is precisely intentional.
Design thinking is the creation of holistic solutions, considering all three elements: form, function, and message. This is accomplished through a strategic process of analysis, distillation, ideation, and application.