October 19, 2015
Design is a Plan
By DineEngine
Design plan on a whiteboard

One of the most common misconceptions we encounter from people new to our service is that design is only appearance, and good design is only an attractive appearance.

We think design is much bigger and more important than that.

Steve Jobs said it beautifully: “Design is not just what it looks like and feels like. Design is how it works.”

We like to expand on that and say “Design is a plan to meet a goal within a set of constraints.” I think I have to credit Mike Monteiro with some Charles Eames paraphrasing, there. It’s been expressed in many ways, but this definition has been around, in one form or another, for ages.

Now, this plan (to meet a goal within a set of constraints) may include creating a beautiful looking product, if being beautiful helps that product achieve its goals.

This brings us to a question I was recently asked: “Why is hiring DineEngine to design our website a better choice than using a site-builder service like Wix or Squarespace?”

You will pay less up front to start a site with one of these services and, if you use one of their templates, it can look great. It may not meet your business goals, though and, if it doesn’t, you’ll lose more in opportunity cost than you’re saving.

We’re goal oriented. Unlike site-builder services, we don’t make a lot of assumptions about our clients. We talk with them to understand their goals, do the research on how to best meet those goals, set priorities, and come up with a plan to meet those goals on time and on budget.

We don’t even rule out using one of these site-builder services. As they’ve grown, they’ve rolled out features tailored to professional designers and developers. If they can help our clients meet their goals, we’ll work within their frameworks to get the best of both worlds.

The organizations we work with are great at what they do. They’re experts in their fields. They come to us, because we’re experts at designing websites and that means more than just the ability to create a beautiful appearance.


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