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What is the Purpose of Design?

There is no purpose to design. It’s a trick question, see, because design is a tool. It’s a process, an action. When we ask “what’s the purpose of design?” we might as well ask “what’s the purpose of creating?” The answer is tautological: the purpose of creating is to create.

But really, we’re not asking the right question.

What’s the right question?

The real question isn’t “what’s the purpose of design.” It’s actually “what is your purpose?” Once you identify your goal, your dream, your purpose, then you have purpose-driven design.

I won’t try to go into detail on purpose-driven design, because the brilliant Amy Cueva has done a much better job of it. So here’s a snippet from her recent article:

“Companies are already harnessing the power of design to create a better experience and imagine a better world. But if the challenges we face today tell us anything, it’s that we need to move past Design Thinking into Design Doing.”

 Let’s do more.

Marli Mesibov

Marli is a content strategist with a passion for the user experience. Her work spans websites, web applications, and mobile. Marli is the director of content strategy at the UX agency Mad*Pow, and she serves as managing editor at UX Booth, a publication about all areas of user experience. Marli is a frequent conference speaker, and has spoken at conferences including Content Strategy Forum and LavaCon. She can also be found on Twitter, where she shares thoughts on content strategy, literature, and Muppets.

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