Why does good design work?

I have been struggling with the question of “Why does good design work?”

All presentations (p2) are designed in that they didn’t just fall straight from the heavens. Some work and some don’t.  Those with bad design that are cut and paste jobs straight from textbooks don’t work. Such people have little value in education or their audience. Those with good design do work but it isn’t clear why. It isn’t just because they are pretty to look at, although they are, it isn’t because they aren’t distracting, although they’re not, but because the p2 performs roles in increasing the understanding, adding to the story, mirroring the passion and accompanying the delivery such that overall presentation (p3) would be limited without it. It works because it does work. It works because it does jobs.

What those jobs are and how well it does those jobs are once again deeply personal, affected by the interpretation of the audience and will vary. Understanding how good design works to perform those roles takes consideration, knowing a few design rules, trial and error, listening to feedback, reflection and being open to change. Surely it is an art? Probably. Rather than expecting perfection, if we at least consider that it has a role in our presentations, we have begun the artistic journey.

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