21 Quotes for Designers stolen from the World of Writing

I recently stumbled over a great set of quotes about writing curated for an English Composition class. Since I’m writing a fair bit lately (a new book, in fact) I couldn’t stop my mind from inserting “design” in the place of “writing”….

I recently stumbled over a great set of quotes about writing curated for an English Composition class. Since I’m writing a fair bit lately (a new book, in fact) I couldn’t stop my mind from inserting “design” in the place of “writing”, as the two disciplines are often so similar. Below you’ll find some of the better quotes rewritten in this way. (disclaimer: I make no claims of originality here…I’m simply re-working other people’s quotes in a new way)

“Look, look, look. Look at everything—blogs, corporate sites, good and bad, and see how they do it. Just like a carpenter who works as an apprentice and studies the master.”

“Design is a political instrument.”

“I am never as clear about any matter as when I have finished designing around it.”

“Don’t delete the file and start over again when you design a bad screen—try to design your way out of it. Make mistakes and plunge on. Design is a means of discovery, always.”

“I know very dimly when I start what’s going to happen. I just have a very general idea, and then the thing develops as I design.”

“Design, when properly managed (as you may be sure I think mine is) is but a different name for conversation.”

“Design is so hard…. The first wireframe is so hard that sometimes in the beginning, before the work itself takes over, carrying you on its flood, you must give yourself rewards. “When I design this screen, I can call my boyfriend.” “When I finish one screen more, I can get an ice cream cone.” “If I design this multi-screen flow, I’ll find a check in the mail.”

“There are a thousand thoughts lying within a man that he does not know till he takes up design.”

“I never quite know when I’m not designing. Sometimes my wife comes up to me at a party and says, “Dammit, stop designing.” She usually catches me in the middle of a sign-up flow.”

“The first Law of Wireframes is, “Don’t spend much time on it. You’re going to have to redesign it.”

“Even if I could not earn a penny from my designing, I would earn my livelihood at something else and continue to design at night.”

“I aim to be content with what I design. It’s an aim I never achieve, but I go over my work screen by screen, time and again, so as to be as little dissatisfied as possible.”

“You can design anything, and it you design well enough, even the viewer with no intrinsic interest in the subject will become involved.”

“It is by sitting down to design every morning that one becomes a designer. Those who do not do this remain amateurs.”

“Design is thinking on screen. Anyone who thinks clearly should be able to design clearly—about any subject at all.”

“There are no dull subjects. There are only dull designers.”

“A designer who waits for ideal conditions under which to work will die without putting an idea on paper.”

“The desire to design grows with designing.”

“Sometimes designer’s block is no more than a signal that you have not done enough research.”

“The delete button is the designer’s best friend.”

“I have tried simply to design the best I can; sometimes I have good luck and design better than I can.”

Published: July 17th, 2009

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