What is good design? We certainly know bad design when we see it. Perhaps when the best design happens we aren’t even aware of it.
There have been plenty of TED talks about design and the three nominated here might make you think differently about the world around us. More than that they tell us we don’t have to be trained designers to “do design.” We just have to try, test, listen, learn and think. We can all do that.
Natalie North (Speaker 2014)
Aris Venetikidis: Making sense of maps
I’ve had this talk in my favourites for a while and it is one of those perfect mixes between good humour and information. Design is sometimes one of those fields that gets mystified and misunderstood but this talk clearly shows how design influences the everyday and starts you thinking about how all the things around you are designed. I also really enjoy how the talk showcases the way our brains ‘design’ the way we share information. Design is everywhere!
Follow Natalie at @Nat_Tily
Phil Willan (TED Enthusiast)
Timothy Prestero: Design for people, not awards
Being a student (and hopefully other students will agree) there is always a thought in the back of my head saying what if Mr Famous Designer or Mrs Future Employer stumbles upon my design, what would they think?! I think it is that thought of wanting to impress other designers rather than help the user that ends up turning a simple solution into it being more complicated than it needs to be, something I think all us designers can do from time to time. I think the most important thing I got from Timothy’s talk was that there is “no such thing as dumb users, just a dumb product,” which I take from it is K.I.S.S. (Keep It Simple Stupid).
Tim Whitemore (Volunteer 2014, 2015, 2016)
Joe Gebbia: How AirBnB designs for trust
You might not have heard of Joe Gebbia but you will have heard of his online room rental business AirBnB. In his humorous talk Joe describes how a chance encounter sparked off the idea that anybody could offer nights in their home to strangers to help pay the rent and to meet new people. Unfortunately investors were less convinced about a business model based on inviting strangers into one’s home so Joe set about designing a service based on trust.
Testament to the success of good design principles is the fact that 123 million nights have been sold on AirBnB. Strangers have accepted me personally into their homes for 140 nights and they have represented some of my most pleasurable travel experiences. Good design goes a long way.
Follow Tim at @TimWhitemore