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SxSW: Does Design Matter?

Jeffrey Zeldman, Founder Happy Cog Studios
Kelly Goto, Principal gotomedia
Jason Santa Maria, design expert
Joe Clark, accessibility expert

Does design matter? Yes, yes it does!

This was a great and informative panel, chalked full of top notch designers. The simple and easy answer is yes, design matters. But, they dove of into much deeper discussions wrapped around design.  Here are my highlights:

Designers get exited about design they like. This is bad. You must bust out of your design zone to meet the requirements of the customers/clients.

Design is much more that just look and feel. For design to be effective you must think about design holistically. Design for web is speed, look, experience, functionality, etc. It is not just the look!
These are all great examples of sites that are not beautiful design, but they are perfect because they are functional and effective.

In summary design matters! But a major error that many people make is design is not just the look and the feel. Make sure you know your brand, your customers, your target audience and design in a holistic mode. Effective design must completely represent your brand!       

SxSW 2005Terry Storch