Answering “Why?” – The Most Important Step in Design


In the design community, every step of the creation process becomes a tale we tell each other to establish our own know-how, as well as trading insight and tips. What we don’t seem to discuss is the “why” side of things. We share what happened and how, but rarely do you hear designers explaining why they decided to do what they did.

It is possible we just don’t realize how important that question can be. Sometimes, it doesn’t seem relevant while trading stories “from the field”. Unfortunately, not answering these questions holds everyone back.

This is the issue Rob Bowen brings up in his article for Webdesigner Depot, and he makes some important arguments for why to be sure you can answer “Why?” Most importantly, answering why you did something helps a client understand your professional opinions and decisions.

If you have thought through why you selected a certain layout or tool, you will be able to argue for it better if your decision is questioned by your client. Sometimes, that forethought is all that can get some ideas past the boardroom. Thinking through every step, also helps ensure you create the best design you can.

The good designer can make a solid website, but the great designers can tell you why every aspect of the design was chosen. If your vision or understanding of the design are blurry, you won’t be able to back it up when the pressure is on.


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