People. Matter. Most.

Julie Zhou, Product Designer at Facebook, shared this powerful quote on her Medium piece “Why I Design at Facebook”:

But when we talk about priorities, when we talk about the core of what drives a company, for me Facebook has always been about this: the people we build for are the ultimate judges of what’s good or bad and what matters and what doesn’t when it comes to product and design. The people at large — not you or I, not the CEO, not our friends, not all the greatest creative minds in the world — it’s the people we build for that matter the most.

To actual designers, this is an obvious truism. But really, there’s no overstating this fact, because this is what makes design powerful.

Our work is not and never will be about the recognition, praise, awards, downloads, or anything else that’s external. It’s true measure is through its impact on people—how it makes their lives easier, better, and happier. How it helps them achieve things that matter to them. How it gets them to connect with others in a meaningful way.

People can argue about the role of design, or how it should be done, or what it’s true value in society is. The truth is everything is designed, but few things are invented to make light of universal truths that are powered by technology. It’s not easy to work on products that always have to evolve, aim to affect people at scale, and are supposed to be easy to use for people whose resources, tastes, attention spans, and priorities are changing faster than you can draw on paper. The world is dynamic, and designers have to be just as dynamic with it.

But there is one common denominator, that no matter the difficulty, the rising expectations, the never-ending need to keep learning, still makes us go back time after time after time:

It’s the people. Because they matter most.

 
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