When talking about the design of a new website, or the design of the actual content on such a website – for example the illustrations, slider images or banner ads on a blog site – there is always an ambiguity, a difficulty, in defining what kind of design we are actually talking about. Is it graphic design, web design, interface design, or do we call it digital design?

We could call the more recent evolution of this specialized design domain: ‘New Media Design’.

We could then define New Media Design as:

(1) the creation, arrangement, visualization or manipulation of the content that is available on-demand through the Internet, accessible on any digital device, usually containing interactive user feedback and creative participation and/or

(2) the design of the underlying digital systems that carry that new media content. New media, like digital media, use digital tools such as computers, mobile devices, and software or apps as creative support in a variety of tasks and domains.

We are not talking about the hardware itself here, but about the design of the content and digital interface systems on those devices.

The term ‘digital design’ is, I think, way too broad. It could mean anything and everything that has been designed with the help of a computer. This could be in science or in art, or in every design pursuit in between.

I might, after hours of researching the essence of what digital design actually means, already be 5 years behind on the technology that is used by digital designers at the moment. My idea of digital design is too limited, it is a limitation that comes from my limited static thinking when I design myself. My limited skill set. My limited knowledge. My idea of digital design is an encapsulated variation of design, a personal and unique one. Nonetheless, a terribly opaque and inflexible one. I have to see the broader aspect of digital design. The broader aspect of art and technology. Design that shifts from creative coding to automated creation?
– Bart Daems

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In search of the human factor

‘Design’ is in all its facets and applications a functional pursuit, therefore it is usually ‘directed’ by technology.

This was part of The Automated Designer, a research topic studied for the author’s MBA thesis paper at The Berlin School of Creative Leadership.