Hear me out first before jumping to any conclusions - I understand that this does not apply to ALL design positions…so Ill try to keep my thoughts short and to the point.
I did some thinking over the weekend and asked myself the question “Are designers the cause of the laziness in society?” - Initially my answer was “No” but I’ve started to realize its not a simple “Yes” or “No” answer.
Rarely is a product designed to require more skill and effort than its predecessor. Our job (at least in the consumer world) is to improve the interaction and increase the ease of use for the user - ultimately making the users job easier (requiring less effort & skill).
Looking at society today, the “skilled” labor force is decreasing rapidly with the advancement in technology, materials, processes, and design. Life for the general population has become simplified; requiring less skill, thought, and effort…
Just look around and you’ll quickly see what I’m referring to…
No longer are children playing outside on weekends with friends (developing social skills), riding bikes, building forts, causing mischief - Instead they are inside watching TV, playing video games, talking on cellphones - expecting more and doing less…
So I guess I have two questions:
Are we partially responsible for the decline of skilled labor and true craftsman ? (i.e Blacksmiths)
Are we designing products to make the lives and jobs easier for the user while ultimately eliminating the skills and effort required to do the task?