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San Francisco, United States

Driven to Design

I’m surprised when I look at drawings I did when I was younger. Most often these were in the form of advertisements for cars, computer games and consoles, yet I would never consider working in advertising today.

Often dissatisfied with the world I inhabit, I look to design as a means of giving it order, rather than to make it more appealing to the eye (which just happens to be happy side-effect). The tidiness of my room, minus artwork on the walls; the strict filing system on my computer, yet little in terms of visual customisation provide clues as to the importance I give to order over beauty.

I think this desire for orderliness is what attracted me to web design. I sometimes find coding a page in HTML more enjoyable than designing its visuals in Fireworks — the idea of taking a set of data and giving it structure somehow appeals to the core of my being.

I think Wilson Miner summed it up best, when he wrote about his motivation to design:

Some people are idea people, some people are artists, some people think in systems, some people have a more organic approach. Everybody is wired up to naturally tune in on one or another of those aspects, or some combination that gives you your focus. It’s what makes you do what you do, because you can’t help thinking about the world that way anyway.

So whilst I’m motivated to design for a variety of reasons, ultimately it’s because I’m an organiser. What makes you tick?

  • Jon Roobottom

    My friend, I’m loving these shorter, one a day blog posts. They’re a joy to read, rather than loosing interest half way through simply because of the sheer length of the thing.

    By the way, if you’d like to tidy my room when you return, I’ll leave it as a little treat for you.

  • Mark Otto

    I think what got me into it is my urge to not just be better myself, but make everything around me better. I call myself an interaction designer these days, but grew up thinking about being a Web or graphic designer. I’ve found interaction designer to be much more appropriate in that I love it when I just hit if off with a website, product, or service.

    Interacting with things can be so easy, so enjoyable – or it can be a downright nightmare. It’s my passion to make (design) and use things that put a smile on my face every time I use them.

    (Also, as a little background, I grew up building PCs before creating themes and icons for Windows XP. That eventually led me to Photoshop and GeoCities… the rest is history).