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There are so many different aspects to design. But whether you are an Experience Designer like me, an interaction designer, a graphic designer, a product designer, a creative director, or a even just consumer of great design – we all look for ideas and design that connects.

Here are 5 quotes that I think are inspirational and motivate the way that I work to design the right experience for our client’s customers.

1. “Simplicity is the ultimate sophistication.” – Leonardo da Vinci 

If you are talking design and visuals – it's really hard to go wrong if you are following da Vinci’s advice. For me, the thing that gives da Vinci so much credibility as a designer is he isn’t just a painter and sculptor. He is also an inventor and an engineer, so he understood not only the visual aesthetic, but also the functional aesthetic for the user. This quote here reminds me of the importance of making things easier for users and the beauty and timeliness of design simplicity.

2. "A user interface is like a joke. If you have to explain it, it’s not that good.” – Martin LeBlanc

The above quote pretty much says it all. Often times when I am working on a client project there is so much information to consider –content, platform/site functionality, desired customer journeys, business goals, etc. By the time you lay it all out and put it together it starts to feel really complex. But as a user and as experience designer, I want it all to feel as intuitive as possible. The challenge in any user experience is how do we meet our objectives without challenging the actual user’s experience.

3. "Design is not for philosophy, its for life” – Issey Miyake

This might be obvious for fashion designers like Issey Miyake, but I think this affects all design. One of the key beliefs we have at relativ* is that marketing communications isn’t about “creative” – which can lead us down the path of pure self expression. But design by definition is intended to address problems. Great design is meaningful, making it in fact about life. 

4. "People ignore design that ignores people.” – Frank Chimero, Designer

If design is for life. Then design has to reflect the way people live. One of the most underrated parts of design is the rigor and research that sometimes underpins great design. Understanding how the consumer lives, how they interact with the product and platform. How we can add real utility to someone’s life. Work that ignores this understanding is generally ignored. It is hard to create real resonance without real human understanding.

5. "Deadlines are the greatest source of inspiration” Mark Twain

Pro-tip – If you are working with designers, a design team, the truth is while we are extremely passionate, we can get lost in our thoughts and debate the best solution forever. Nothing like a (reasonable) deadline to create real focus. The secret to great results: gives us a challenge, provide space for us to ideate, but outline a real clear target to hit.

Kaori Ito Senior Experience Designer
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