‘Ask yourself: How is this useful or usable for a user?’

We often take mindless, thoughtless decisions of design. We take decisions ‘just because it looks good’. Actually, design is much more.

I like to see design as a way of solving problems, and the approach taken by most designers seems to contradict this.

So ask yourself, before taking any design decision. Ask yourself this one, important question. ’How is this useful or usable to the user?’

Most (if not all) times, when you design things, you don’t design them for yourself. You design it for the user. Therefore, all your views about the design are pointless. What YOU think doesn’t matter. What matters is the user’s reaction.

How taking a simple step make the product better for the user. How will my decision affect the user, whether it will leave a negative or a positive impact. These things are what that matter.

Good designers always place the user before themselves. They look at their design from the eye of the user. They’re self critiques.

Each decision of theirs is influenced by what they think the reaction of a user will be. Of course, estimating users’ reaction is not something simple. You can’t know about someones reactions by reading articles, or looking at famous works. It requires experience.

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But of course, even without experience, we can learn the basics. Experience will build up when we continue using the basics in a proper way.

To start, just ask yourself the question before taking any design decision. The absolute question. ‘How does the increase the usefulness of the product, and how does it make more useful or usable?’

Let’s see why some big companies took the design decision they did.

Why is Facebook still blue?

You might be knowing the original reason why Facebook is blue. Mark Zuckerburg, Facebook’s CEO, is red-green colorblind, and could see shades of blue best. That explains why the original facebook was blue. But does such a popular website even care what their CEO thinks in terms of design? I don’t think so.

One reason proposed is that blue is the least distracting color. According to Emil Kostov, blue brings down the time spent on watching the background by 65%.

It also is said that blue and green—the colors most abundant in nature—are best for calming down the mind.

Google+’s navigational icons—good or bad?

Is this useful or usable for the user--Google Plus icons

In my opinion, Google+’s icons are great. They are simple enough to understand without any context, and aid in navigation.

These were not used ‘just because they looked good’.

The icons were designed specifically to be simple, and to cut down time taken to find correct navigation option. In a social network like G+, which depends quite a lot on navigation, doing this was important.

What does the Microsoft logo mean?

If you’ve been thinking that M$’ logo is just an abstract window, you’re wrong. Even the colors have a meaning.

Is this useful or usable for the user--Microsoft Logo

  • The blue represents Windows, starting from Windows 8.
  • The red represents Office, starting from Office 2013.
  • The green represents Xbox, and it’s revamped design using Modern UI.
  • The yellow represents Windows Phone (unconfirmed)

So well, you can plainly see, for a design to be good, it has to has a meaning. It has to be useful or usable for the user. Nothing should be done ‘Just like that’


Remember—every action of yours should be accounted for. That’s the secret of good designers.

The idea for this wonderful article was suggested by a Reddit user, Christopher Nguyen. My thanks to him.

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