Creating Great Design

Empathy, Focus, Simplicity and Time.

The Tabasco bottle has a great iconic design. It is great not only because of how it looks and feels, but also because of how it all works together. There is a harmony and coherence between the size of the bottle and what is inside it — a fiery sauce. The narrow opening ensures that you only get it in measured drops. And the hexagon shaped red cap is just perfect for opening such a small cap. There is such a sheer delight and connection in just holding the bottle.

So how do I create great design in my life like the Tabasco bottle? I think in small doses and it probably requires these four key ingredients.

It starts with empathy. Can I connect with the need and understand the human emotion behind it?

It demands focus. Can I work in flow and not stop till I get it right?

It needs simplicity. Can I say a thousand no’s for every yes?

It takes time. Can I handcraft it over hundred hours and yet be ready to start all over again?