Introduction by Kim Goodwin

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Introduction

You've probably picked up this book because you are a designer, whether by profession or by inclination. Design is, arguably, something that every person in the world does—laying out the text in a school report, decorating a living room, and arranging plants in a garden are all acts of creation that can have both utilitarian and aesthetic value. However, most such acts consider a small set of idiosyncratic needs: the habits and preferences of an individual, or perhaps of the handful of individuals who make up a household.

Professional designers must define financially viable products, services, and environments that meet the practical, physical, cognitive, and emotional needs of a wide range of people.

Design as a profession—by which I mean everything from product design to architecture—exists to provide both utilitarian and aesthetic value on a large scale. Professional designers must define financially viable products, services, and environments that meet the practical, physical, cognitive, and emotional needs of a wide range of people. Like someone deciding what color to paint the living room, a professional designer can—and, to some extent, does—try something, decide that it doesn't work, and try something else. Yet designers must try, fail, and eventually succeed on a deadline, within a budget, and over and over again. Eventually, all experienced designers develop a set of implicit or explicit techniques to help them do just that, and to do it better and faster over ...

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