Design. How do you design something that apeals to the person looking at it and achieves the goal you are trying to achieve?
Well, lets look at the goal of a good design, the main goal would be to communicate to the viewer the idea you want to communicate. This may be indirect, very direct, or even hidden.
Take the Google home page for example, what are they trying to communicate with the design? Well each person who saw it might tell you what they get, but what I get is “simplicity” the design communicates that to me and I myself like a search engine that is simple so I use Google like so many others.
Google Search (Entire page):
Yahoo Search (Entire page):
If you wanted to communicate that your website has many different services and show that on your homepage, you might get a design like Yahoo where the home page is so loaded that to me it overwhelms me. Someone else who might like lots of links might really enjoy the design. Thats the point, you want to communicate your message with the design.
For your design to be a success, you would want to communicate the message that will pull peoples interest (People that you are selling to) and then deliver your product. As an illustration: You want to design something that sells computers. You design something that looks old fashioned, the only people you will be selling to is people who like old fashioned things – not computers. Doing this, you will lose sales and the design is a bomb (Not the Bomb, like it should be).
To be successful to sell computers you would have to do a design that communicated what a person buying a computer likes about a computer, to find this out you need to survey those kind of people and find out what they like. But surveying is a whole additional subject. Once you have surveyed and found out what the people who would like computers like about computers that makes them interested in buying computers you can do the design correctly. You then do your design in a way that communicates what would make the person buy.
Knowing the data mentioned, you can do a successful design, providing you know the basic rules and techniques of the area you are working in. The basic rules and technical skill in the area you are working in are necessary to do a good design.
Here are some examples of the technical skills necessary for some areas of design:
Book cover design:
Basic design rules
Photoshop or Indesign (Or any of the programs for designing images)
Basic HTML (So you know what can be done)
Photoshop or ImageReady
Flash (for designing Animations)
Interior Book Design
Indesign or Quark
Basics of Typesetting and Typography
The better you know your technique, the better you can execute your ideas for the medium being designed for.