Design is not magic

A popular Myth over time is that design or creativity is some magical thing, but these perceptions of it can be misleading.  Design itself is a solution to a problem with various steps involved, this is also referred to as “Design thinking” for Designers. Magic, on the other hand, is sometimes referred to an illusion, which makes a presentation where its audiences are devoid of its origin.

What is Design thinking? Design thinking is a philosophy and behaviour combined with various methods which makes it so powerful. It is being able to get beyond oneself and to be interested in people to uncover insights. Armed with this Designers can start designing what people want rather than trying to make people want what they’ve designed.

A general notion amongst the general public about design is that design is purely aesthetics. Which contradicts the very existence of design in the first place as a medium of problems solving. Design agreeably still encompasses aesthetics into one of its core values. “No one loves to look at an ugly presentation, it even voids its main message”.  So for a design to fulfil its primary role, it has to be able to achieve its purpose. This can be a stop sign communicating the right and clear message, even from a mile away, then it shows that the design is not just aesthetically correct. But also initiated the pre- intended action by the audience.

In situations where a person who is a layperson is introduced into the mix, Designers are usually tasked by a need to convince the layperson that design isn’t only about making things merely aesthetically pleasing. That it’s about solving problems. That design is about end-to-end solutions.

It has proven to be very argumentative for decades, that Designers spend so much time trying to get a layperson to try to think about design in a bigger definition. Yet, they always revert to the notion that design is only about making things look aesthetic.

Designers as much as laypeople, shouldn’t think there’s any magic in Design Thinking. To do so would be to depend on Design thinking having magic and such magic doesn’t really exist.

It’s important to bring design into a project early, before the settling on a solution, so that the needs of the audiences can be correctly explored. Why should there be care about design that early? So that when it is time design doesn’t just clean things up, but rather magnifies concepts.


In order to have a clearer understanding of how design works, please read up these informed articles:

Design thinking is method, not magic

Shh! Don’t Tell Them There’s No Magic In Design Thinking


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