Sunday, January 10, 2010

The Redundancy of Design Goals

Less than 2 weeks into the New Year, and already many resolutions have been broken, but as any good consultant or coach will tell you, a resolution is not a goal.
Consider this anecdote: “In 1953, researchers studying goal setting surveyed the graduating seniors from Yale University on their goals and aspirations for the future. They discovered only 3% of the graduating class had specific, written goals and objectives.

20 years later, when they tracked down the same graduates, the researchers were astounded by the results. They discovered that the same 3% who engaged in goal setting activity and had clearly written goals when they graduated in 1953 were more successful, and worth more in terms of wealth than the other 97% put together. The same 3% also tend to have better health and relationships than the other 97%.”
(Guide to Self-Help Techniques)

FastCompany verified that the famous Yale Study of Goals is an Urban Legend. It’s unfortunate that it never actually happened, because it is such a inspiring story. But that doesn’t mean goal setting doesn’t work. As a compulsive goal setter and educator I encourage students to set goals. Their teachers, too.

From Zig Ziglar to Tony Robbins, all motivational gurus stress that successful a goal must have a several definite components. Most critical, a goal must be achievable, specific, and have a deadline. There are many sites that offer great information on goal setting. The Affluent Artist is especially good for anyone in creative fields.

The first lecture I give to students in my Intro to Digital Design course is about the meaning of design. Looking at the definition of design, it means “intentional planning.” It has nothing to do with Macs or Adobe. It’s about the thought process behind something.

Because I have a nerdish interest in etymology, here is the definition of DESIGN (Oxford English Dictionary)

• verb
1 conceive and produce a design for.
2 plan or intend for a purpose.
— ORIGIN from Latin designare ‘mark out, designate’.

The Visual Thesaurus created this beautiful word map of the word DESIGN. In addition to creating these incredibly useful maps for only $20 a year (buy the software for $40) the images are beautifully designed, as is the elegant functionality of the interface itself. What more could a logophilactic designer want?

So here is the redundancy...

To be a designer is a to be a goal setter.
Or at least someone who aspires to be a good designer must become a goal setter.

1 comment:

  1. Wonderful blog. Well written, informative, inspiring, motivational. Goal setting ? Hmmmmm Good idea. Blessings upon your new blog. Pretty blogger too!