Does Good Design Matter?

Does it matter if a design is good or not?

Before we can deal with that question let’s ask a more basic one: What makes a design good?

To answer that question, we should first begin with what good means. Without a definition, it’s unlikely that any design can be considered good or not, since there would be no standard.

Good embodies three ideas: benefit, fit, and value. If something is good, it is useful and beneficial. It is not harmful, destructive or compromising. Its use results in good things.

Things that are good also fit well… they’re appropriate to the situation. If something is good then it’s not out of place or inappropriate. It specifically addresses the need or purpose it was created for.

And if something is good it has value… it enhances and builds up. It makes something desirable and worthy, or is in itself desirable.

Good design contains all these qualities: value, fitness and benefit. A design that does not work, does not communicate, does not add value, does not fit its audience or represent an enterprise appropriately is not good. And that matters, doesn’t it?

Alvalyn Lundgren

Alvalyn Lundgren is the founder and principal of Alvalyn Creative, an independent consultancy providing brand strategy design and bespoke illustration for more than 30 years. She is the creator of Freelance Road Trip — a business school and podcast for creative freelancers. She teaches design and design practice on the college level with design schools and programs.