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Design is Intelligence made Visible

Design is Intelligence made Visible

Design is Intelligence Made Visible

“Design” often conjures images of visually appealing websites, apps, or objects. However, graphic designer Louis Danziger’s definition – “Design is intelligence made visible” – broadens this concept to encompass anything humans create. This perspective is particularly relevant in various contexts, from product development to everyday problem-solving.

Consider the principles product designer Taras Bakusevych outlined in his “58 Rules for Beautiful UI Design.” These principles can be adapted to numerous fields, illustrating how design permeates various aspects of life:

  • Empathy: In design, empathy involves understanding the user’s needs. In writing, it means knowing your audience and addressing their interests. In software engineering, it translates to creating user-friendly applications.
  • Layout: Effective design guides the eye effortlessly. Similarly, good writing has a clear structure, and well-written code is logically organized.
  • Essentialism: Both design and writing benefit from simplicity and purpose. Stripping away the unnecessary reveals the core message or function.
  • Guidance: Design should lead users intuitively, just as a well-crafted narrative guides readers. In life, offering clear direction fosters better communication and understanding.
  • Aesthetics: Good design evokes emotion. Likewise, compelling writing engages readers emotionally, and aesthetically pleasing code can be more straightforward to maintain and debug.
  • Novelty: Balancing novelty with familiarity keeps users engaged. Innovative writing and software features that enhance user experience without overwhelming them follow this principle.
  • Consistency: Consistent design builds trust. Similarly, consistent writing style and reliable software behaviour establish credibility.
  • Engagement: Good design, like a meaningful conversation, keeps users invested. Engaging content and interactive software applications create a lasting impact.


For example, consider a well-designed mobile application. Empathy ensures it meets user needs, while an intuitive layout guides users seamlessly through its features. Essentialism removes clutter, providing a straightforward experience. Aesthetic elements make the app enjoyable, and a balance of novelty and familiarity keeps it fresh yet accessible. Consistency in design elements fosters user trust, and engagement features ensure users’ return.

By applying these design principles across various disciplines, we reveal the intelligence behind our creations, making them functional but also meaningful and impactful. Whether in writing, software engineering, or daily interactions, design principles help us create purposefully and clearly.