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April 18, 2013

What we forget when we design for public

Designing for public is always a challenge.

Be it a railway station, a cashier desk in a bank, a scooter parking area, a public library, a round-about in a busy street, or a pub, we cannot judge the design until it is used by the intended users for a specific period of time. Its very easy for designers to get carried away by the opportunity of creating something which is noticed by a large spectrum of users. We often try to "design" it such that it stands out and calls for attention.



Seth Godin observes the process of designing public interfaces in general in his blog.

First, do no harm--three rules for public interfaces

When we think of design, we usually imagine things that are chosen because they are designed. Vases or comic books or architecture...
It turns out, though, that most of what we make or design is actually aimed at a public that is there for something else. The design is important, but the design is not the point. Call it "public design"...
Public design is for individuals who have to fill out our tax form, interact with our website or check into our hotel room despite the way it's designed, not because of it.