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Design Makes Me Sick

I've been a professional graphic designer for almost twenty years. I've been feeling more and more lately that there is something offputting about most of what we consider to be good design.

As I mentioned in my post on comfy websites, When I see stuff that's really great, top-notch design, my reaction is almost always "that's not for me."

Admittedly, this may say more about me than about the design.

But what I'm getting at is that good design (real good design, not pretty design) should be functional and inclusive. Too often, design by the best visual designers is shockingly well done but subtly pushes away the user/client/visitor. You feel like you've wandered into the opera by mistake, and you're underdressed.

I guess the word would be pretentious, but I'm looking for something a little less negative... counter-inclusive. Often what we consider to be good design runs against the weaving of relationships with people.

For me, a design is good when it functions well mechanically and above all encourages the audience to jump in the arena and to splash some mud around.

My guess is that this is why the whole Web 2.0 phenomenon is so popular... people now feel like they can participate in the internet. They feel invited.
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