over-design archives

case study

The mistake of over-designing

In our quest to design simple, intuitive, and efficient things, we must be careful to not over-design. I have run into several examples recently where I believe the designer (or more often, the business employing them) is trying too hard—too hard to be everything, too hard to have too many options, too hard to up-sell, too hard to be original or innovative, too hard to be too simple—and has failed. A fine line is walked between questioning traditions and standards for irrelevance, age, or oversight, and respecting them for their tenure of existence. A delicate balance must be struck between production costs, competition, patents, marketing, aesthetics, work-flow, and usability. While we most often are not the one with the final say, I believe it’s a designer’s duty to satisfy a project’s many requirements simultaneously while diligently advocating usability—resisting and preventing the mistake of over-designing.

posted by wade on Monday, Jun 29, 2009 · 4 comments