Strategy is design

To design is to think about how we are going to build in line with our vision.

To strategize is to think about how we are going to execute in line with our vision.

Both strategy and design align our actions with our vision. While design deals with building something, strategy is about its execution. At their essence, they aren’t different.

To design well

Say a friend of mine has scheduled a video-call at 3:30 PM German time.

What I want to do is to see her on my laptop screen and start talking to her when it is 3:30 PM. What I have to do is a few among the following actions

– Open up my web-browser

– Enter the call link into my browser window

– Accept cookies on the site

– Sign in on the platform that sent me the call

– Permit the site to access my webcam and microphone

– Enter a passcode if necessary

– Wait for my friend to let me into the call

What I want to do is merely start a conversation. What I have to do is all the non-productive things needed to get there. Great design is about getting as much of that non-productive work out of the user’s way as possible.

Yet, somebody has to deal with all the complexity that comes with starting a video call – creating a stable network connection, protecting the user’s rights, securing their privacy and so on. Great design owns those battles, freeing the user to focus on having a great conversation.

To design well is to give the users what they want. To design well is to also take ownership of everything that doesn’t matter to the user.