Design. Perpetually celebrated and criticized, it supports our sense of style and function. When charged with conceiving of a new design, we are guided by a list of rational requirements - the design must accomplish A, B & C. But the process of design is far from rational. Whether creating or engaging with a design, it is our unique personal lived experiences, be they mindful or latent, that determins the outcome of one's engagement, be it positive or negative, with a design. These personal biases must negotiate the technical constraints of the medium and the perceived demands of the maker and user alike. It is this personal association to design that challenges both the maker and user to connect despite never sharing the same space. It stands to reason then, that failing to make this connection can also be very personal experience. Attempting to avoid the potential of failure by relying entirely on rationality, the A,B & C, will only serve to alienate a product from its purpose and its humanity.
I see good design as something that is novel and functional while inherently familiar and with character. It must be supportive but not obstructive. It should make you want to engage with it, but not necessarily consciously. Ideally it should help make you feel good about yourself and the world around you.