Failure is Not Bad, Makes It Good

Failure is not bad, but the profession tends to treat it like it is unknowingly. By failing to examine failure, designers reinforce the misinterpretation or the mischaracterization that design is superficial.

When a design solution works, its labeled as good, but if a design solution doesn’t work it’s assumed to be bad.

“We’ve worked so hard to get beyond the idea that design simply makes things pretty, to the point where we’re able to say design makes it work,” said Vinh.

“We need to take things one step further to get to a place where we can say design makes it good, which means it’s pretty, it works, and it’s good for the users, the community, and the world.”

Design has waged a multi-decade campaign for greater credibility. To get to the next stage, design as a craft – and designers as professionals – need to embrace rigor and accountability.

“We want to be a central participant in the debates around new innovations, we don’t want design to be disregarded as being a part of the solution,” said Vinh.

Unfortunately, it’s unlikely the design industry will get an independent paid critic, as great as that would be. For now, if you consume design content, you’re on your own to figure out what is motivating the publisher/writer/speaker of what you’re consuming. You must understand their credentials and what their agendas and biases might be.


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