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Does excessive use of design jargon lay designers open to ridicule or misunderstanding?’

Does excessive use of design jargon lay designers open to ridicule or misunderstanding?’

Clear and simple communication is core to any design activity. Our presentations, sketches, reports, prototypes and indeed the whole panoply of our activities need to be clear and understandable. If designers muddy the water with jargon that only the initiated understand, they thoroughly deserve the ridicule and misunderstandings which ensue. Buzz-word bingo anyone? Oops – there I go again! For the uninitiated, buzz-word bingo is a game played at meetings, and one that has proved very popular among management consultants.’

Dick Powell, Director, Seymour Powell

‘A big yes! If you mean what you say, say what you mean. Jargon, is by its very nature confused, unintelligible language. When jargon is used it opens up a chasm of misunderstanding that usually ends in ridicule and frustration. If you understand what you are talking about, why confuse and alienate with incomprehensible terminology?’

Leonard Rau, Head of Brand Strategy, SAS

‘Any professional who spouts jargon excludes others, wastes time and deserves a clip round the ear. But what’s even more important than clarity is for designers to explain the reasons behind their thinking. Too many lavish words on how something will look, feel or work and forget to explain why they believe it should be that way.’

Tim Rich, Writer

‘Both, on occasion. Jargon is a system universally employed by the high priests of a discipline to persuade the laity of their divine power. Compared to the art world, design-speak is a model of clarity – eg: “form follows function”. Most jargon is employed to justify the invoice rather than the work.’

Gavin Aldred, Owner, Aero

‘If designers are as guilty as the British on holiday, failing to learn other people’s languages, talking loudly and assuming volume aids telepathy, then like the holidaymaker, they deserve the resulting miscommunication. After all, this business today is about communication. If you are not communicating, you shouldn’t be in this business.’

Martin Vintner-Jackson, Creative Director, Enterprise IG

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