This is, I think, the main criteria for any piece of design. Whether its a graphic, a product or a service it should do its job.
If you have designed something and it doesn’t do the thing it was designed to do or doesn’t do it well- then it really hasn’t been designed well at all, has it?It follows that design can only be considered good if it does the job it was designed for and can only be considered great if it does said job, really well.
Yes, this is a blatantly obvious statement. Yes I’m sure you already believed that design should be functional but have you ever thought about how many things there are floating around that either fail at any purpose or fail at the one they were designed for in the first place?
Take advertisements- we’ve all seen an advert that was designed that bit too much, that tried too hard to be different, too hard to be artsy and just ended up leaving you in a state of complete confusion. Left you knowing neither who made the ad nor what they wanted to know or buy.
Think of your thermos mug (unless you have a really good one…), the one where no matter ow much you tighten the lid, it always seems to leak from somewhere. The one you have to turn entirely upside down to get the tea out of, the one where when you do get the tea out it ends up all over your face. The one that provides no more insulation than your ordinary mug and that, to top it all off, ruins the taste of your tea. Its sole purpose was to allow you to drink a hot drink while walking, and yet the majority fail.
Finally hoovers with rotating cleaning brushes. These brushes are designed specifically to get stuff off your carpet, however often in doing that it clogs itself up to an extent where it can’t suck up a thing! Great design? Not if it breaks itself doing the job it was designed for.