“Design is not just what it looks like and feels like. Design is how it works.”

– Steve Jobs

Design is not merely a pretty face. It’s the heartbeat. It’s not just the sparkle in the eyes, it’s the neurons firing behind them. Design isn’t merely skin-deep. It’s the skeleton, the muscles, the blood flow.

Take any object. A computer. A chair. A website. When we speak of design, we don’t start with its style or complexion. It’s like calling a book by its cover, an apple by its skin. It’s not about the choice of color, the style, the ornamentation. It’s not just about the wrapping paper.

Design starts deeper. It starts with the core. It’s the seed in the apple, the essence of the story beneath the cover. It’s about the purpose, the why, the destination before the journey. It’s the answers to ‘what’s it for’ and ‘who’s it for’.

When you hold a chair, you don’t just see its paint or upholstery. You see a problem solved. A need met. A comfort provided. A designer doesn’t just sculpt wood or mold plastic—they craft solutions. They are the architects of comfort, the engineers of ease.

Websites, they’re not just clusters of pixels on a screen. They are labyrinths with a purpose. They guide, inform, sell, entertain. Their design isn’t about the beauty of the maze, it’s about the efficiency of the route. The simplicity of the path. The satisfaction of the exit.

Designers are not decorators. They are problem solvers. They provide answers. They create shortcuts. They don’t just pick the wallpaper, they build the walls, the rooms, the doors.

Design, in its truest form, is not just about making things look good. It’s about making things work good. It’s the beauty in the brains, not just the brains in beauty.

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.