I’m surprised when I look at drawings I did when I was younger. Most often these were in the form of advertisements for cars, computer games and consoles, yet I would never consider working in advertising today.
Often dissatisfied with the world I inhabit, I look to design as a means of giving it order, rather than to make it more appealing to the eye (which just happens to be happy side-effect). The tidiness of my room, minus artwork on the walls; the strict filing system on my computer, yet little in terms of visual customisation provide clues as to the importance I give to order over beauty.
I think this desire for orderliness is what attracted me to web design. I sometimes find coding a page in HTML more enjoyable than designing its visuals in Fireworks—the idea of taking a set of data and giving it structure somehow appeals to the core of my being.
I think Wilson Miner summed it up best, when he wrote about his motivation to design:
Some people are idea people, some people are artists, some people think in systems, some people have a more organic approach. Everybody is wired up to naturally tune in on one or another of those aspects, or some combination that gives you your focus. It’s what makes you do what you do, because you can’t help thinking about the world that way anyway.
Wilson Miner: The Optimizer, April 2008
So whilst I’m motivated to design for a variety of reasons, ultimately it’s because I’m an organiser. What makes you tick?