Francesco Bernabei (Power To Designers 2015)

1. What makes a bad design?

The real question to me is what makes a design functional? A design can be beautiful/ugly and working/not-working. When the beauty and the functionality merge, here you have a good design.

Depending on the purpose, most of the time the design has to be functional, has to work, to drive the user in the right/clear experience journey. When the aesthetic beauty helps the definition of the user journey, there you have the perfect combination.

2. Does the evaluation of a design can be objective? What are the criteria?

Same as before: first of all it has to work in order to drive the user well and quickly into the journey. And this is an objective criterion. The aesthetic part can be subjective. If something is too complicated and it doesn’t help the functionality, it can be visually stunning… but pointless.

3. How would you explain to someone who has no idea what the design is, what its the role of a designer?

A designer is the person who has to find the best solution balanced between graphic/visual elements and scope of the message/experience.

The designer who works in digital as opposed to one who works only with print has also to use the movements of those elements in a smart and clever way to make the visual and the experience richer.

4. What or who, and why, is a design icon for you?

Aaron Koblin and Stefan Sagmeister . The first for the use of visual in digital communication the second for how he represents a concept, an idea with the design.

5. In your opinion: what were the most important events in the history of design?

Every time a new technique to reproduce image was born.

In modern times those were TV, Web, mobile and lately VR.

6. Is there an event, product, person, or the trend in the history of design that you think is the coolest, weirdest, most surprising?

Impossible to say. Every work, person, event that slightly influences the environment and create something to get inspiration from is helpful.

It’s like identifying who’ll change the world of painting, impossible!

7. Power to designers - is the motto of the conference. Sounds very rebelliously. Are designers today are undervalued?

From the massive audience’s perspective, as every creative job, yes. (Everybody thinks it takes two seconds to create a website or even to create a good looking picture with a nice camera)

In the field of communication, not so much. Of course there’s many professionals so it’s difficult to stand out.

8. Suppose that designers come to power. What's next? What would they do?

They’d write everything in Helvetica!

9. Last question: How to become a designer?

Watching a lot, having strong knowledge of what has been done - and how. This is fundamental to anticipate the trends.

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