Responsible Design

Responsible Design

A discipline principally concerned with practicing in an ecosystem, honoring that community with its solutions, and sharing in the accountability of its outcomes.

A discipline principally concerned with practicing in an ecosystem, honoring that community with its solutions, and sharing in the accountability of its outcomes.

Principles

01-curious

Be curious.

Be curious.

Learn your surroundings by practicing from within an ecosystem

Learn your surroundings by practicing from within an ecosystem

02-thoughtful

Be thoughtful.

Be thoughtful.

Honor that community with solutions formed from this new understanding

Honor that community with solutions formed from this new understanding

03-humility

Be humble.

Be humble.

Admit that you will fail, adapt well & share in the responsibility of your outcomes

Admit that you will fail, adapt well & share in the responsibility of your outcomes

Practices

01.

Talk about hope.

Talk about hope.

There are topics that we neglect because we feel like they should be assumed. Hope is the foundation, so it’s well worth mentioning. It’s okay to tell those you’re serving that hope is your goal. Speak it into existence.

There are topics that we neglect because we feel like they should be assumed. Hope is the foundation, so it’s well worth mentioning. It’s okay to tell those you’re serving that hope is your goal. Speak it into existence.

02.

Embrace real people.

Embrace real people.

Sure, people are messy. They are often hard to understand and even harder to love, but they are who we serve. Whether our design directly or indirectly serves them, a human will at some point interact with our work. Finding community with others is risky, but its rewards allow us to realize a more complete design vision.

Sure, people are messy. They are often hard to understand and even harder to love, but they are who we serve. Whether our design directly or indirectly serves them, a human will at some point interact with our work. Finding community with others is risky, but its rewards allow us to realize a more complete design vision.

03.

Ask better questions.

Ask better questions.

One of the most human things we can do is build community through conversation. Dig for intimate insight through the questions you ask. Don’t absently inquire but rather actively listen to people and surroundings, allowing your questions to form organically.

One of the most human things we can do is build community through conversation. Dig for intimate insight through the questions you ask. Don’t absently inquire but rather actively listen to people and surroundings, allowing your questions to form organically.

04.

Be self-aware.

Be self-aware.

Some of the most simple advice is the hardest to embody. Though you may live and work in the role of designer, you are also someone else’s user. Chances are you may even be one of the hard-headed ones that designers love to gripe about. Design the products you would want to use.

Some of the most simple advice is the hardest to embody. Though you may live and work in the role of designer, you are also someone else’s user. Chances are you may even be one of the hard-headed ones that designers love to gripe about. Design the products you would want to use.

05.

Practice patience.

Practice patience.

This is without one of the hardest virtues for me to foster in my life. Efficiency can feel at times like muscle memory. However in evaluating the most invaluable aspects of my life, I see the common pattern of time and trust. This will prove no different in our work.

This is without one of the hardest virtues for me to foster in my life. Efficiency can feel at times like muscle memory. However in evaluating the most invaluable aspects of my life, I see the common pattern of time and trust. This will prove no different in our work.

06.

Slow down.

Slow down.

Slow down and note how certain designs make you feel physiologically and mentally. Especially make note of times when interactions cause anxiety. By experiencing these realities yourself, you can gain perspective on the pitfalls you will inherently create through your work.

Slow down and note how certain designs make you feel physiologically and mentally. Especially make note of times when interactions cause anxiety. By experiencing these realities yourself, you can gain perspective on the pitfalls you will inherently create through your work.

07.

Simplify solutions.

Simplify solutions.

Timeless design identifies a purely human need and creates a simple solution that stands the test of time. It’s not about having the trendiest aesthetic or remediating a short term need. It’s about designing for real people, in real time.

Timeless design identifies a purely human need and creates a simple solution that stands the test of time. It’s not about having the trendiest aesthetic or remediating a short term need. It’s about designing for real people, in real time.

08.

Iterate & repeat.

Iterate & repeat.

Exercise humility. Continually come back to the reality that you may not get it right the first time. Rather than allowing this truth to defeat you and your practice, use it as fuel to fire your design.

Exercise humility. Continually come back to the reality that you may not get it right the first time. Rather than allowing this truth to defeat you and your practice, use it as fuel to fire your design.

09.

Share responsibility.

Share responsibility.

Don’t shy away from responsibility. It’s only in this shared experience that meaningful trust will form between you, your clients and your users. It’s a commitment to refinement rather than arrogance.

Don’t shy away from responsibility. It’s only in this shared experience that meaningful trust will form between you, your clients and your users. It’s a commitment to refinement rather than arrogance.

Download & Print

Responsible Design was created by Jeremy D. Cherry

Design Does. was written & produced by Jeremy D. CherryTypeset in GT Sectra Display, IBM Plex Sans, & Cardo.

Design Does. was written & produced by Jeremy D. CherryTypeset in GT Sectra Display, IBM Plex Sans, & Cardo.

License — CC BY-NC-SA

License — CC BY-NC-SA

License — CC BY-NC-SA