1. Designer as Contributor

As a breed, designers tend toward the ambitious. After all, success in design is having a product or concept widely used and admired. The designers celebrated by the community tend to be seen as sole visionaries—Steve Jobs, Dieter Rams, or Paul Rand. The stories behind their products, and so many other successful products, are far more complex than the single epiphanic flash of brilliance. Even if designers were to believe the apocrypha surrounding their favorite products, they eventually come to learn the truth. Designers don’t work alone.

This book will describe many reasons for this, for the fact that “designer in a garage” is—if it ever were true—no longer feasible. The pressures applied by the complexity of products, ...

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