I browse the web every day, looking for inspiration, looking for examples of great design, so that I can learn and expand the skills I offer to my clients. In  my travels online I came across a quote that reminded me of something I need to remember.

“Most people make the mistake of thinking design is what it looks like. People think it’s this veneer — that the designers are handed this box and told, ‘Make it look good!’ That’s not what we think design is. It’s not just what it looks like and feels like. Design is how it works.” — Steve Jobs

I have formal training in design, and in web technologies. I try to combine those with my life experience and the clients’ requests to provide functional websites with good design. But what is good design? Maybe it’s the part of design that we don’t see.

Design is generally defined as the process and art of combining text and graphics to communicate an effective message. But design, as it applies to what I do every day, is in many ways secondary to the experience. This is not a situation unique to the web, but it behooves us as web designers to remember it each time we start a new project.