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Pinterest’s Simple Philosophy

“Design isn’t just wireframes or visual style, it’s about the product as a whole”. Pinterest is yet another digital-generation-sprung network where users are provided a universal piboard on which to share their photos and theme-based image collections.

Sahil Lavingia writes, “Design is shrinking the gap between what a product does and why it exists. Designing is not just about picking the right font or gradient. Stop thinking about design in terms of wire frames or visual style; it is about the product as a whole. Designing is figuring out the purpose of your product and how you orient everything else around it. And that means that everyone within a company plays a role in the design process. And thatmeans that everyone in a company needs to learn design literacy. It’s a hard task. Everyone tells their MBA-wielding friends that they should learn to code: “Anyone can do it,” or “It’s going to be the new literacy.” People think code is the basis of a working product. But what about design? How often are people told that they should learn to design?”

Good design is using reason to make decisions and to solve problems. Every man-made object you use in real life is designed, from forks and desks to keyboards and grocery bags and are the culminations of many hours of thinking and many more hours of trial and error. Why does a board on Pinterest look the way it does? Because other people determined what a pin board should look like and what it is used for, what ‘to pin’ means, and what it implies. Good design means building on earlier ideas, just as in math or physics.

Figure out your product’s purpose, and keep designing and re-designing it. Shrink the gap between what it does and why it exists, and don’t stop until the gap disappears. As the founder of 37Signals Jason Fried has said, “The design is done when the problem goes away.”

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