Performative Design

Sahadeva Hammari:

I call this performative design. Performative design ultimately reduces the practice of design from a wide range of creative, psychological, communication, and problem-solving skills to a narrow practice focused on the reproduction of popular styles and interfaces for the sake of feeling like and being perceived as a skilled designer. The success of performative design isn’t measured by its usefulness or utility in the world β€” a more traditional method for evaluating the quality of a design β€” or the meaning the work brings to its users’ lives, but rather how closely their work mimics what is considered  β€œgood design.”

I, too, am of the opinion that actual good design is design that gets out of the way and communicates, or truly helps users do what they need to do. Not what is trendy, flashy, or built for likes.

But to be fair, I’m also jealous of flashy design regularly, performative or otherwise. I wish I had the design chops even to mimic really flashy impressively-aesthetic design. I could front-end dev it probably, but producing the designs themselves I always fall flat.

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