This is the story of a designer, who worked at google. He explains how design at google is extremely data driven.
Yes, it’s true that a team at Google couldn’t decide between two blues, so they’re testing 41 shades between each blue to see which one performs better. I had a recent debate over whether a border should be 3, 4 or 5 pixels wide, and was asked to prove my case.
Picking up the google story, Scott Stevenson argues in this mini-pamphlet how important designers’ judgments in software design are.
How does this relate to planetwater.org or my work? I am obviously not mainly in software design. What I have done recently is I have been going through a lot of iterations of one problem with a master’s level student of mine. It has been a lot of fun at times and it has been frustrating at times. We could have tackled the problem by “just do it”. However, we took a lot of paths away from the main path, and we did learn a lot. Maybe it was not the most direct way, maybe we also created a lot of “failures”, maybe we could have been quicker. We did learn a lot, and our end-result is very good.
It remains, generally, that the boundary between design, statistics, environmental modelling, and even art is very interesting. It might be an art by itself. And dreaming is a big part of it.