Design Quotes

These bits of inspiration are culled from designers, architects, musicians, and more. What brings them together here is their affinity to LukeW's design philosophy.

"A great product isn't just a collection of features. It's how it all works together." —Tim Cook, September, 2014
"Most business models have focused on self interest instead of user experience. Those are the kinds of problems we solve to solve." —Tim Cook, September, 2014
"True simplicity is, well, you just keep on going and going until you get to the point where you go... Yeah, well, of course." —Jonathan Ive, September, 2013
"It's very easy to make something that is new. So we are trying to make things that are better." —Jonathan Ive, September, 2013
"We don’t do focus groups - that is the job of the designer." —Jonathan Ive, March, 2012
"[the design process] is about designing and prototyping and making. When you separate those, I think the final result suffers." —Jonathan Ive, March, 2012
"As consumers we are incredibly discerning, we sense where has been great care in the design, and when there is cynicism and greed." —Jonathan Ive, March, 2012
"You need the people who want to work at a high level but who can go all the way down to the atoms." —Ben Fried, March, 2012
"If something is going to be better, it is new, and if it’s new you are confronting problems and challenges you don’t have references for. " —Jonathan Ive, March, 2012
"We say no to a lot of things so we can invest an incredible amount of care on [what we do]." —Jonathan Ive, July, 2012
"Technology is, in the broadest sense, mind or intelligence or purpose blending with nature." —Paul Davies, April, 2011
"The perfection of art is to conceal art." —Quintilian, 95
"The design is done when the problem goes away." —Jason Fried, 2012
"Above all else, align with customers. Win when they win. Win only when they win." —Jeff Bezos, 2012
"Design is shrinking the gap between what a product does and why it exists." —Sahil Lavingia, 2012
"Our role is to imagine products that don’t exist and guide them to life." —Christopher Stringer, 2012
"The quality of any collaborative creative endeavor tends to approach the level of taste of whoever has the final cut." —John Gruber, 2010
"Good design is obvious. Great design is transparent." —Joe Sparano, 2009
"Simple is hard. Easy is harder. Invisible is hardest." —Jean-Louis Gassée, 2008
"Truly elegant design incorporates top-notch functionality into a simple, uncluttered form." —David Lewis, 2006
"When you take technology and mix it with art, you always come up with something innovative." —Robert Rodriguez, 2006
"An enterprise's most vital assets lie in its design and other creative capabilities." —Samsung chairman Kun-Hee Lee, 2006
"It's all about one thing: creative problem-solving to get the story out." —Robert Greenberg, R/GA, 2006
"The challenge is about taking things that are infinitely complex and making them simpler and more understandable." —Robert Greenberg, R/GA, 2006
"The product is the brand. You build brand in our industry through the product and the experience." —Jim Wicks, Motorola, 2006
"Design is always about synthesis -synthesis of market needs, technology trends, and business needs." —Jim Wicks, Motorola, 2006
"Innovation distinguishes between a leader and a follower." —Steve Jobs, 2005
"I prefer design by experts - by people who know what they are doing" —Don Norman, 2005
"Design is the easiest way to reenergize a product." —Fast Company, 2005
"Where you innovate, how you innovate, and what you innovate are design problems." —Tim Brown, 2005
"Your products run for election every day and good design is critical to winning the campaign." —Procter & Gamble CEO A.G. Lafley, 2005
"Design's fundamental role is problem solver" —Fast Company, 2005
"When people talk about innovation in this decade, they really mean design" —Bruce Nussbaum, 2005
"Design is the fundamental soul of a human-made creation that ends up expressing itself in successive outer layers of the product or service." —Steve Jobs, 2005
"You can't just ask customers what they want and then try to give that to them. By the time you get it built, they'll want something new." —Steve Jobs, 2005
"The commonality between science and art is in trying to see profoundly - to develop strategies of seeing and showing." —Edward Tufte, 2005
"Good design is the most important way to differentiate ourselves from our competitors." —Samsung CEO Yun Jong Yong, 2004
"Simple design, intense content." —Edward Tufte, 2004
"A picture is worth a thousand words. An interface is worth a thousand pictures." —Ben Shneiderman, 2003
"Design is so critical it should be on the agenda of every meeting in every single department." —Tom Peters, 2003
"Design is not just what it looks like and feels like. Design is how it works." —Steve Jobs, 2003
"Beauty and brains, pleasure and usability — they should go hand in hand." —Donald Norman, 2003
"Visual appearance is one of the most effective variables for quickly differentiating one application from another." —Bob Baxley, 2003
"Like all forms of design, visual design is about problem solving, not about personal preference or unsupported opinion." —Bob Baxley, 2003
"[Users] said they were more likely to believe Web sites that looked professionally designed." —Stanford Web Credibility Study, 2002
"Interactive design [is] a seamless blend of graphic arts, technology, and psychology." —Brad Wieners, 2002
"[Leonardo Da Vinci] combined art and science and aesthetics and engineering, that kind of unity is needed once again." —Ben Shneiderman, 2002
"We find that people quickly evaluate a site by visual design alone." —Stanford Guidelines for Web Credibility, 2002
"True interactivity is not about clicking on icons or downloading files, it’s about encouraging communication." —Ed Scholssberg, 2002
"The display is the computer." —Jen-Hsun Huang, 2002
"The location of visual elements in the UI has a huge impact on how the user interprets information." —Rick Oppedisan, 2002
"The design of good houses requires an understanding of both the construction materials and the behavior of real humans." —Peter Morville, 2002
"…effective communication is a key factor in the success of your product." —Jesse James Garrett, 2002
"Problems with visual design can turn users off so quickly that they never discover all the smart choices you made with navigation or interaction design." —Jesse James Garrett, 2002
"To dismiss front-end design as mere ‘icing’ is to jeopardize the success of any site." —Curt Cloninger, 2001
"As far as the customer is concerned, the interface is the product." —Jef Raskin, 2001
"If a site is perfectly usable but it lacks an elegant and appropriate design style, it will fail." —Curt Cloninger, 2001
"Business success is always defined by the quality of the overall customer experience." —Forrester Research, 2001
"Good designers can create normalcy out of chaos; they can clearly communicate ideas through the organizing and manipulating of words and pictures." —Jeffery Veen, 2000
"I’ve been amazed at how often those outside the discipline of design assume that what designers do is decoration. Good design is problem solving." —Jeffery Veen, 2000
"The basis for success of [media] products, in addition to their usability and efficiency, is often the potential to arouse." —Reeves & Naas, 1999
"Websites that are hard to use frustrate customers, forfeit revenue and erode brands." —Forrester Research, 1998
"It's really hard to design products by focus groups. A lot of times, people don't know what they want until you show it to them." —Steve Jobs, 1998
"The fusion of art and technology that we call interface design." —Steven Johnson, 1997
"...that strange new zone between medium and message. That zone we call the interface." —Steven Johnson, 1997
"Design can be art. Design can be aesthetics. Design is so simple, that's why it is so complicated." —Paul Rand, 1997
"Simplicity is not the goal. It is the by-product of a good idea and modest expectations." —Paul Rand, 1997
"Questions about whether design is necessary or affordable are quite beside the point: design is inevitable. The alternative to good design is bad design, not no design at all." —Douglas Martin, 1989
"We're gambling on our vision, and we would rather do that than make 'me too' products." —Steve Jobs, 1984
"When I'm working on a problem, I never think about beauty. I think only how to solve the problem. But when I have finished, if the solution is not beautiful, I know it is wrong." —Richard Buckminster Fuller, 1980
"Good design is thorough down to the last detail." —Dieter Rams, 1978
"Good design is as little design as possible." —Dieter Rams, 1978
"Good design makes a product understandable." —Dieter Rams, 1978
"Art does not begin with imitation, but with discipline." —Sun Ra, 1956
"The architect should strive continually to simplify; the ensemble of the rooms should then be carefully considered that comfort and utility may go hand in hand with beauty." —Frank Lloyd Wright, 1908
"We require from buildings two kinds of goodness: first, the doing their practical duty well: then that they be graceful and pleasing in doing it." —John Ruskin, 1880
"[Users] make their credibility-based decisions about the people or organization behind the site based upon the site's overall visual appeal." —Stanford Persuasive Technology Lab
"Design is a plan for arranging elements in such a way as best to accomplish a particular purpose" —Charles Eames
"To design is to communicate clearly by whatever means you can control or master" —Milton Glaser
"Design is directed toward human beings. To design is to solve human problems by identifying them and executing the best solution." —Ivan Chermayeff
"Design is the art of gradually applying constraints until only one solution remains." —Unknown
"The greatest challenge to any thinker is stating the problem in a way that will allow a solution." —Bertrand Russell
"Everything is designed. Few things are designed well." —Brian Reed
"The ability to simplify means to eliminate the unnecessary so that the necessary may speak." —Hans Hofmann
"Making the simple complicated is commonplace; making the complicated simple, awesomely simple, that's creativity." —Charles Mingus
"Form follows function-that has been misunderstood. Form and function should be one, joined in a spiritual union." —Frank Lloyd Wright
"The details are not the details. They make the design." —Charles Eames
"Science arose from poetry… when times change the two can meet again on a higher level as friends." —Johann Goethe
"A designer knows he has achieved perfection not when there is nothing left to add, but when there is nothing left to take away." —Antoine De Saint-Exupery