The need is not always easy to find. It could be for a product not yet created or it could be for a feature on an existing product. Either way, it’s like answering a question.
Some products fail because they answer a question that isn’t being asked. Another reason products fail is because they answer the wrong question. And finally, sometimes products fail because they answer a trivial question.
(INSERT: noise of fortune cookie opening) The only way to create the perfect product (answer), is to find the perfect need (question).
Recognizing the need is the primary condition for design.
Don’t design for everyone. It’s impossible. All you end up doing is designing something that makes everyone unhappy. -Leisa Reichelt
Leisa is a Freelance User Experience Designer & Researcher. I’ve just started following her on twitter and have been impressed with her insights into user interactions. You can follow her blog at http://www.disambiguity.com/
To understand the meaning of design is… to understand the part form and content play… and to realize that design is also commentary, opinion, a point of view, and social responsibility. To design is much more than simply to assemble, to order, or even to edit; it is to add value and meaning, to illuminate, to simplify, to clarify, to modify, to dignify, to dramatize, to persuade, and perhaps even to amuse.
Design is both a verb and a noun. It is the beginning as well as the end, the process and product of imagination.
-Paul Rand Graphic designer.
From his book Design, Form, and Chaos, Yale University Press, New Haven, 1993.