Good Design is Aspirational

User Experience Designer Seattle

Marco is a designer at a Los Angeles studio tasked with developing a new electronic dashboard interface for a car. In his benchmarking he finds that the products of lots of companies compete at a low level.

He consults with his UX lead, Mary, about what they might do to overcome this trend. Mary and Marco review the existing designs and find that they employ garish colors and disparate images, and that the information display doesn’t provide much hierarchy. They also look like early computer interfaces and feel cheap and poorly thought out.

“A good design should be aspirational, Marco,” says Mary. “Nothing about these interfaces makes a person feel better for having used them. Even setting aside the poor informational display, the way the screen is designed, the feeling it generates, it’s as though these companies were just trying to address this problem in the least amount of time and for the least money possible.”

Mary sketches out a few quick designs. “For this new car let’s employ a high degree of fit and finish. I’d like to see solid integration with existing customer devices and expectations,” she said. “Marco, this might sound goofy but if we design it well this car can actually help customers feel better about themselves. The engineering systems have high reliability and safety. I know we can help this client build a reputation for quality and worthiness that justifies a higher price point.”

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