Talk Takeaways: Design is not Art


Austin Knight, Senior UX Designer, speaker, and author at , co-host of the UX and Growth podcast.


Design = Art (aesthetic) + Engineering (functional)

Art is about the artist. Creativity is expressed through art. It has independent value. It’s meant to provoke or is inspired by provocation. It is created through exploration or whimsy. The result is to be appreciated. Art is subjective. 

Design is about the user, not the designer. Because design is created for the user, it focuses on what the user thinks is beautiful. It has external, independent value. Designs are created through observation and iteration. It’s calculated. Design employs creativity to serve a function, a means to an end. Design is objective.

Designs should be supported through reliable data, research, and reasoning that’s evaluated regularly. Information empowers designers to create better designs. Research and data keep designers accountable towards their users and not their ego. Humility is the most important quality a designer can possess.



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