Design: What is it?

When I started Prevolve I had never designed anything significant in my life. Only recently did I stumble upon Dieter Rams 10 Principles of good Design:

 1. Good design is innovative.

2. Good design makes a product useful.

3. Good design is aesthetic.

4. Good design makes a product understandable.

5. Good design is unobtrusive.

6. Good design is honest.

7. Good design is long-lasting.

8. Good design is thorough down to the last detail.

9. Good design is environmentally-friendly.

10. Good design is as little design as possible.

That's a long list! 

The principles show what good design is, but could it be simpler?

To me it all comes down to purpose. Design is creating something with a purpose in mind. When it came to soccer shoes it was clear to me that the purpose was traction, protection, and touch. Nothing else. Through the process of designing BioFusion shoes I've had to continually come back to purpose. Is the feature I'm designing related to the purpose? If it's not then why am I adding it? I often have found that I unconsciously try to add things to my design to fit the look or shape of another shoe I've seen. This is where the danger lies. My natural human tendency of wanting to fit in, sways my design off course.

The secret of creating good design is to think for myself about the purpose. Sure I can look around at other ideas and ways of solving a problem, but if I lose sight of purpose I become lost at sea, letting any current move me. 

So thank you Dieter for you ideas, they are clear and listed, but I think the second principle: "Good design is useful," is the source of all the others. If a designed object is not being used for it's purpose then it's not a good design.

All the principles stem from this one.

For example 1. "Good design is innovative" if you have a product that is just like another one people use then why would they use yours? 6. "Good design is honest" If people see you lied they won't trust your product, therefore won't use it. 7. "Good design is long lasting" if the product breaks then no one can use it.

I could go on.

The lesson through all of this for me is that to make good design I have to think for myself. I can't innovate, I can't improve and I can't progress if I'm afraid to be different.

Boom. Done.

"Let them judge you"