In our everyday lives, we perform various tasks that require designing. Everything from Snapchat stories to the customized Subway sandwich you last bought make you a designer. Congratulations!
This isn’t another sarcastic low-blow article mocking people who put in truckloads of effort to make their Instagram profile look interesting. On the contrary, I want you to pat your back and reward yourself for your hard work.
If you live away from home, the idea of using cardboard boxes as chairs or book cases won’t seem bizarre to you. Sometimes, bricks and wood make shelves, and rugs become wall hangings. The best designs are the ones we create for ourselves – or in desi terms, jugaad.
Donald A. Norman, the man who coined one of the most frequently used terms in the design industry – “user experience” – writes in the epilogue of his book Emotional Design:
Of course, Norman then goes on to distinguish an everyday Designer from a “professional designer”, but we’re not going there.
Here are ten things you do all the time which make you a designer.
Making purchase decisions
Deciding what to buy – whether it’s clothing, accessories, furniture, home décor or even more mundane things like utensils or stationery – is a huge design decision. While we may not have any control over the design of the many objects we purchase, we do control which pieces we choose to buy and, then, just how, where, and when they are to be used.
Placing customized orders
Everything from getting clothes stitched by your local tailor to choosing a personal favourite combination of toppings for your make-it-yourself pizza, are decisions we make to serve a purpose and solve a problem.
Deciding what to wear
This is pretty obvious; like a celebrity’s personal stylist decides what they wear in public, you make these decisions for yourself. Which shoes to pair with which outfit, putting together the outfit itself, deciding what looks good on you, and what is the most practical thing to wear – all this is a part of styling.
Rearranging your belongings
It could be the furniture in your living room, the placement of things on your desk, or the way you arrange your wardrobe and shelves. Through these personal acts of design, we transform the otherwise anonymous, commonplace things and spaces of everyday life into our own things and places. Through our designs, we transform houses into homes, spaces into places, things into belongings.
Customizing your gadgets
You pick your ringtone, change your wallpaper, decide which widget goes where on your home screen, and sometimes even change the default typeface of our device: all this is a form of design.
Building your social media profiles
A lot of thought goes into deciding what to write in your bio, choosing your profile and cover pictures, and all other miscellaneous customizations that are available on different social media platforms.
You may or may not be comfortable with advanced image editing tools like Photoshop, but even when you choose the most appropriate Instagram filter for your photograph, you are designing. Yes, even those cringe-worthy hearts you placed onto your pre-teen Facebook profile pictures makes you a designer, albeit unsuccessful ones.
Creating Snapchat stories
I’m not kidding; I am honestly impressed by the creative ways in which some people use Snapchat filters, and the amount of thought they put into deciding the order in which they upload snaps. These common designer creates actual, meaningful stories out of his drab everyday life. It’s beautiful.
Composing a photograph
You might just be attempting to copy a photograph you saw online, but when you ask your friends to pose a certain way, change the placement of objects in your frame, or turn around to achieve better lighting, you are making conscious design choices.
Making a presentation
We have slowly moved from examples of subconscious design decisions to conscious ones, and perhaps the decisions a student or professional takes before making a presentation are the most important ones. You not only physically design a PowerPoint presentation and supporting infographics, you also decide what to speak when, what to wear, and what approach to take in order to impress your audience.
Even if these seem trivial and superficial, the essence of design is present in each of these acts: a set of choices made to fulfil a purpose, some better than others, perhaps none fully satisfactory.
Kudos to the most wonderful source of creativity on this planet – the human brain.
In what other ways do you think you are a designer in your everyday life? Tell us in the comments!
Image Source: The Verge
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