9 of the World's Leading Designers Talk About What Matters Now

A good collection of design-related thinking. Here are some highlights:

Great design often disappears, leaving the user with no more than a simple and intuitive experience.

From Gentry Underwood of Dropbox. Jared Spool has been beating this drum for ages:

When things are going well in a design, we don’t pay attention to them. We only pay attention to things that bother us.

Jack Schulze of Berg offered an interesting perspective on design permenance:

When I was studying graphic design in the late ’90s, there was a dream that as a designer, if you were good enough, you might create an archetype for the age—the sorts of things you see in Mad Men, artifacts and images that characterize an era. But when I graduated, it became abundantly clear that when people looked back on the decade to come, they would not be looking at record covers or chairs. It was going to be glowing rectangles and software. People would remember the aesthetics and noises of operating systems, the first time they pinch-zoomed something, the aesthetics of Google Maps, the Nokia ringtone, and Candy Crush Saga.

Closing out the piece, Alexis Lloyd of the New York Times R+D Lab offered an area of concern (and a challenge to designers everywhere):

We’re seeing new relationships emerging between people and technology. Algorithms influence an ever-increasing number of facets of our lives: the media we consume, what our health insurance knows about our physical condition, whether we’re approved for loans or hired for jobs, and whom we may date or marry. But we don’t have much agency in those interactions. These “smart” systems are black boxes, eschewing transparency in favor of simplicity. But when we can’t interrogate a system, that disenfranchises us. Designers now must facilitate interactions that balance ease of use with transparency.

Read on Wired