Dirk Knemeyer

Design: the secret to good information and so much more

Originally published at Thread Intelligence

The practice of “Design” has received a bad rap. While similarly cerebral disciplines, like Engineering and Science, are well-respected and important tools, Design is viewed in a less friendly light, dismissed as an art that is subjective, even frivolous.

In reality, Design is perhaps the most consistent predictor of success.

Design is defined as “the use of higher thought and systematic process to achieve objectives.” It has nothing to do with graphics or frills. It has everything to do with being more effective and successful.

Everyone has objectives. By their very nature, objectives are things that we believe to be in our best interest to achieve. Design is applying intelligence (ability) with process (method) to best achieve these objectives. Does this mean that everyone, to one degree or another, Designs? Yes, it certainly does. But to Design and to be a Designer are two entirely different things.

To Design means to plan and act to achieve results. We all do this, on an everyday basis and at both large and small levels.

To be a Designer means to plan with the knowledge and experience of a professional and to act following proven, systematic processes that achieve better results.

This is a very valuable function.

At Thread, we follow a Design process based on that adopted by Leonardo da Vinci, one of the greatest innovators in human history. His own personal Design process included four steps: Collect, Create, Relate and Donate. Here is our four-step process, loosely based on that of the master:

1. Discover – Learn the environment. Define the objectives.
2. Plan – Determine the end product. Structure how the end product will be created.
3. Produce – Create the end product.
4. Manage – Deliver the end product. Ensure that the end product successfully accomplishes its objectives, both now and into the future.

By adhering to this basic process in all of our many disciplines – from database engineering to strategic planning to interactive design and beyond – we deliver solutions to our clients that successfully meet their business objectives.

When you think of the word “Design,” do not limit yourself to images of precocious graphic designers or bombastic fashion designers. Remember that Design is an ancient discipline that, when practiced properly, walks the fine balance between science and art, clarity and expression, truth and beauty. The results are not only visually appealing, but intellectually enlightening. And, oh, so effective.

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