Imagine you’re at a bustling farmer’s market on a sunny Saturday morning. You’re not just there for the fresh apples or the artisan bread, though those are delightful. You’re there for the experience, the hustle and bustle, the journey of selecting your produce, and the stories behind each stall. This, my friends, is a lot like design.

Too often, I hear people – savvy consumers, sharp business folks – talk about ‘good design’ as if it’s a shiny apple they can just pluck off a shelf. They treat it like a commodity, something that can be bought and sold, like a dozen eggs or a pound of coffee. But here’s the quirky truth: design isn’t the apple. It’s the entire experience of the market.

Design is a process. It’s an adventure. It’s the journey from a blank canvas to a masterpiece, from an idea to an innovation. When people say they want a ‘good design,’ what they’re really craving is not just the end product but the essence of a well-crafted journey.

Think of it this way: when a chef prepares a meal, the final dish is certainly important. But what makes it special? Is it just the taste? Or is it the selection of fresh ingredients, the precise chopping, the careful seasoning, and the artful presentation? Similarly, a ‘good design’ is the outcome of a well-thought-out and executed design process. It’s the careful selection of colors, the thoughtful layout, the understanding of the user’s needs, and the seamless integration of form and function.

This process is where the magic happens. It’s where creativity dances with strategy, where intuition waltzes with analytics. It’s a process that demands curiosity, empathy, and an open mind. It’s about asking the right questions, not just jumping to the easiest answers.

So, next time you’re thinking about design, remember the farmer’s market. Don’t just focus on the apple. Relish in the journey of selecting it. Appreciate the stories behind each choice, the care taken in growing it, and the joy of discovering something new. That’s where the true value lies.

In the end, ‘good design’ is more than just a product. It’s a reflection of a thoughtful, engaging, and dynamic process. It’s a journey worth taking. So, roll up your sleeves, dive in, and enjoy the ride. Who knows what amazing designs you’ll create when you focus on the process, not just the outcome.

Stephen Boudreau serves as VP of Brand and Community at Virtuous Software. For over two decades, he has helped nonprofits leverage the digital space to grow their impact. To that end, Stephen co-founded RaiseDonors, a platform that provides nonprofits with technology and experiences that remove barriers to successful online fundraising. He is an avid (but aging) soccer player, audiobook enthusiast, and the heavily-disputed UNO champion of his household.

Copyright ©2023 Stephen Boudreau.