August 6, 2014 / Melissa Faudree

Margaret Gould Stewart is the director of product design at Facebook. During a TED Talk conference, Stewart spoke about how digital design affects the world. She stresses how important audacity and humility are when it comes to designing for the world. Designers need to keep in mind that they are designing a product that the whole word needs and also how it can make someone’s life better.

Stewart goes on to discuss some of the things she has learned during her professional career. She makes note of three things:

  • Little things really matter
  • How to design with data
  • Introduce change carefully

Stewart uses stories to explain her principles to the audience. One story that stands was about designing the new Facebook like button. The designer tracked 280 plus hours over the course of several months. It’s hard to believe that one small button could take that much time to design. The designer understood that millions of people would be not only seeing the button but also it would be used everywhere across the World Wide Web. Talk about a lot of pressure.

Her discussion concludes with an eye-opening perspective. Stewart asks the audience what we might do if we had to drive four hours to the nearest place in order to plug in our cell phone for electricity. She encourages digital designers to remember their audience. Not everyone has the luxury for the newest and latest technology. Not everyone speaks English either. Designers have to understand the big picture. Stewart concludes that designers have the choice to change the world.

To watch Stewart’s discussion, please visit the TED website.

Posted In: Blog, Design, Social Media