Is design a science or an art? I reckon that, as far as the web is concerned, it’s a bit of both. 

I searched on Google for an answer to the question and while I didn’t quite find one, I did spot a rather lovely Venn diagram created by The Imaginary Foundation. Try replacing the word ‘wonder’ with ‘design’, and we’re pretty much there…

30 user experience quotes to warm your soul

Designing a wonderful user experience is a key part of trying to create an amazing customer experience, which is much broader, anchored as it is in products, service, process, fulfilment and so on. This is something we’re all – presumably – trying to do.

I’m not a big fan of inspirational quotes, much less those awful posters, but sometimes a smart soundbite or pithy observation can help us to spot the wood from the trees. As such I’ve compiled a bunch of my favourite quotes relating to the user experience and design. Hat tip to this thread on Quora and


“The ability to simplify means to eliminate the unnecessary so that the necessary may speak.” – Hans Hofmann

“The architect should strive continually to simplify; the ensemble of the rooms should then be carefully considered that comfort and utility may go hand in hand with beauty.” – Frank Lloyd Wright

“Simplicity is the ultimate form of sophistication.” – Leonardo da Vinci

“If you can’t explain it simply, you don’t understand it well enough.” – Albert Einstein

“Perfection is achieved, not when there is nothing more to add, but when there is nothing left to take away.” – Antoine de Saint-Exupery

“Making the simple complicated is commonplace. Making the complicated simple, awesomely simple, that’s creativity.” – Charles Mingus

“Simple is hard. Easy is harder. Invisible is hardest.” – Jean-Louis Gassée

“It’s simple, until you make it complicated.” – Jason Fried

“Don’t make me think.” – Steve Krug

“One does not accumulate but eliminate. It is not daily increase but daily decrease. The height of cultivation always runs to simplicity.” – Bruce Lee


“To design is to communicate clearly by whatever means you can control or master.” – Milton Glaser

“People react positively when things are clear and understandable.” – Dieter Rams

“The main goal is not to complicate the already difficult life of the consumer.” – Raymond Loewy

“Clutter is a failure of design, not an attribute of information.” – Edward Tufte

“Design needs to be plugged into human behaviour. Design dissolves in behaviour.” – Naoto Fukasawa

“The only intuitive interface is the nipple. After that it’s all learned.” – Bruce Ediger

“As far as the customer is concerned, the interface is the product.” – Jef Raskin

“What makes people passionate, pure and simple, is great experiences. If they have great experience with your product and they have great experiences with your service, they’re going to be passionate about your brand, they’re going to be committed to it. That’s how you build that kind of commitment.” – Jesse James Garrett

“When we have clients who are thinking about Flash splash pages, we tell them to go to their local supermarket and bring a mime with them. Have the mime stand in front of the supermarket, and, as each customer tries to enter, do a little show that lasts two minutes, welcoming them to the supermarket and trying to explain the bread is on aisle six and milk is on sale today. Then stand back and count how many people watch the mime, how many people get past the mime as quickly as possible, and how many people punch the mime out. That should give you a good idea as to how well their splash page will be received.” – Jared Spool

“Design must seduce, shape, and more importantly, evoke an emotional response.” – April Greiman


“White space is to be regarded as an active element, not a passive background.” – Jan Tschichold

“A lot of what we are doing is getting design out of the way.” – Jonathan Ive

“Don’t make something unless it’s both necessary and useful. But if it is both necessary and useful, don’t hesitate to make it beautiful.” – Josh Porter

“It’s not enough that we build products that function, that are understandable and usable, we also need to build products that bring joy and excitement, pleasure and fun, and yes, beauty to people’s lives.” – Don Norman

“A common mistake that people make when trying to design something completely foolproof is to underestimate the ingenuity of complete fools.” – Douglas Adams

“The details are not the details. They make the design” – Charles Eames

“It’s art if can’t be explained. It’s fashion if no one asks for an explanation. It’s design if it doesn’t need explanation.” – Wouter Stokkel

“Good design keeps the user happy, the manufacturer in the black and the aesthete unoffended.” – Raymond Loewy

“Designers shooting for usable is like a chef shooting for edible.” – Aarron Walter

“In music, silence is more important than sound.” – Miles Davis

Can you suggest any others? 

[Image credit: The Imaginary Foundation]