The Art of Design Rationales

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I’ve recently found myself writing more & more design rationales. And so I am reiterating the importance of such. You see, earlier in my career I didn’t put much value on rationales. Maybe it was because of the quality of the ones that I had been subjected to. But I now realize the potential. Regardless of how experienced the account exec may be, I believe it is vital for the client to hear the designer’s thought process and reasoning. I have found that it can mean the difference between a beautiful project and one that spirals wildly out of control. A thoughtful, expressive rationale even helps fend off pesky, scope-creep-induced rounds of revisions.

So the next time you are tasked with writing a design rationale, embrace it. Think of it as your chance as a creative professional to show off your expertise.


  • Ashlea
    July 25, 2018, 1:48 pm  Reply

    Any books or blogs you would recommend to help designers write design rationales? Thanks so much!

    • Jim
      July 30, 2018, 1:29 pm

      If you have access to a Lynda account, take a look at their video on the subject. Not a bad place to start. If you need Lynda access, I know our public library offers free accounts as part of having a library card. It’s a great resource for all kinds of design goodness.

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