In the course of my design career, I have met many people who simply do not understand what it takes to create good design.
They don’t understand that visual solutions cannot be forced. They don’t understand that sometimes, no, I can’t “design faster”. They ask ignorant questions, like “Why is this taking you so long?” and, no matter how many times you explain, continue to naively and stubbornly believe that good design is something designers can conjure at a moment’s notice. And then fully implement in an hour or two. They don’t value or respect the amount of training and talent it takes to become a Good Designer.
May suitable doses of guaranteed visual pleasure and slow, long-lasting enjoyment resulting from a slowly-designed, well-designed thing preserve us from the contagion of the multitude who mistake frenzy for efficiency.
In order to help combat this problem, I am proposing that we, The Good Designers of the world, start a Slow Design Movement. You know, kind of like the Slow Food Movement started in Italy 20 years ago. In this same spirit, I have modified the Slow Food Manifesto into a Slow Design Manifesto:
01 Our forefathers of design, who first designed under the tenets of modernism and in response to an increasingly fast-paced world, nevertheless spent years of slow, careful consideration perfecting and codifying the design disciplines we know today: architecture, industrial design, graphic design, and interaction design.
02 With the advent of the information age, we are enslaved by speed and have all succumbed to the same insidious virus: Fast Design, which disrupts our vision, pervades the aesthetics of our workplaces and homes and forces us to look at ugly things.
03 A firm defense of good, well-thought out design and opposition to cheap templates, bad typography, malignant form, easy solutions, and unappreciative clients is the only way to oppose the universal folly of Fast Design.
04 May suitable doses of guaranteed visual pleasure and slow, long-lasting enjoyment resulting from a slowly-designed, well-designed thing preserve us from the contagion of the multitude who mistake frenzy for efficiency.
05 Our defense should begin in the studios and design schools with Slow Design. Let us rediscover the fruits of inquisitive research, thoughtful concepting, adequate rounds of revisions, and respect for our discipline and banish the degrading effects of Fast Design.
06 In the name of productivity, Fast Design has changed our way of looking and threatens our user experiences and visual literacy. So Slow Design is now the only truly progressive answer.
07 That is what real culture is all about: developing taste rather than demeaning it. And what better way to set about this than an international exchange of experiences, knowledge, projects (are you with me, fellow Good Designers)?
08 Slow Design guarantees more beautiful, pleasurable, useful communication and objects.
I’ll end this post by quoting Massimo Vignelli and then myself:
“The life of a designer is a life of fight: fight against the ugliness.”
You Get What You Wait For. Slow Design.