Frank Chimero has an interesting design philosophy.

Check it out below… and here.

1. Why is Greater Than How

This complex world has made us over-emphasize How-based thinking and education. Once the tools are understood, understanding why to do certain things becomes more valuable than how to do them. How is recipes, and learning a craft is more than following instructions.

How is important for new practitioners focused on avoiding mistakes. Why is for those who wish to push, are not risk-averse and seek to improve. How is coulda, Why is shoulda. How is finishing tasks, Why is fulfilling objectives. How usually results in more. Why usually results in better.

2. Not More, Better.

As a consumer, I am more interested in supporting individuals and companies that value quality and realize the distinct difference between more and better. To value better means to believe that the taste of the food will always trump the serving size. (If you’ve had a good meal, you know it does.)

Better is attainable, superior products and experiences, not ivory towers. A single taste of better is an eye-opening experience: it makes one intolerant of mediocrity and sets one off on a mission to support fine craftsmanship by buying well-crafted, thoughtful goods and services.

3. Surprise + Clarity = Delight

Design can have a myriad of purposes: to inform, to persuade, to sell or to delight. To delight means to present an audience with something that is different in its point of view, but achieves a clarity in communication. It makes others see the world in new and different ways.

We are taught a set of skills important for our growth and survival as people: communication, arithmetic, wellness, and others. But no one teaches us how to perceive the world. To delight someone is to give a small lesson in how to see the world as something good.

4. Sincere, Authentic, Honest

Our default is to fake it and to assume that others are doing the same. We fein interest in our work, speak sarcastically, and buy things that are new reproductions of old things. We presume someone is selling us something. We’re a hungry culture starved for sincerity, authenticity, and honesty.

But what does fixing it look like? Well, it doesn’t look cool. In fact, it probably involves being so passionately enthusiastic about something that it is the exact opposite of cool. It is through caring intensely about something that we can connect to one another in more meaningful ways.

5. No Silver Bullets, No Secrets

Long ago, some one figured out that people love shortcuts. They also concurrently figured out that if you have a secret, you can sell it. Then came the business of inventing secrets that could be used as short-cuts to help someone get to a desired point without much effort.

Anything worth doing is difficult. And any one that tells you there’s a cheap or easy way to get every thing you want is probably trying to sell you some thing. You can’t download experience, you can only live it. So, stop waiting and just go out and try some thing. You’ll feel empowered.

6. Quality + Sincerity = Enthusiasm

If there’s an ecosystem where things are free (such as, say, the internet) your currency becomes enthusiasm. Quality is important because it gives people a legitimate reason to become excited. Sincerity is what creates the line between real enthusiasm and empty hype.

This sounds like a lame-brain observation, but things are better if creative people produce work that incites excitement in both the creative and the audience. Don’t be shocked if something fails because it lacks fervor and passion. Build those in, if you can. If you can’t, consider starting over.

7. Everything is Something or Other

I don’t know what the hell is going on. Neither do you, and neither does any one else, really. We’re all lost and making things up as we go. We are making things before we know what they do and breaking stuff before we know what replaces it.

We’re all just here tinkering, speculating and listening to see if our shovels hit something hard while we’re digging. I suppose that’s what world- building is, though, so let’s get used to it. We need to learn to tolerate ambiguity.


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