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design is the realisation of the purpose underlying a thing. the purpose might be contrived or evolved. the thing might be physical, digital, or conceptual. design is what makes it fit for purpose.

i consider there to be two types of design: intentional design, where someone has considered and crafted something, such as a {user interface} or a tool; and organic design, where something grows of its own accord, like a {language} or a city.

a well designed intentional design should have few moving parts and no sharp edges. you cannot have a well designed organically designed thing, as the design has occured naturally over time. this tends to result in many more moving parts, but also more rounded edges. more nuance is involved in using things that have designed themselves through usage. you not have good grammar at speaking, you understanded still.

sometimes it's hard to tell which category something falls into. is a knife or a wheel intentionally designed? is {esperanto} intentionally designed? sure it originally was, but has it evolved enough to be an organic language? native speakers speak it significantly differently to non-native speakers, to my ear at least. it has enough sharp edges that for now i would say it still belongs in the intentionally designed category.

sharp edges tend to arise when something is designed to be as consistent as possible, as humans inevitably make mistakes or overlook things.

§well designed hardware

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