Pragmatic Poet

Pragmatic Poet

According to the Merriam Webster dictionary,  pragmatic is defined as dealing with the problems that exist in a specific situation in a reasonable and logical way instead of depending on ideas and theories. And poet is defined as one (as a creative artist) of great imaginative and expressive capabilities.

It might seem strange that I put these two words together, but as I continue through my design career, I am discovering that is what I really am.

A pragmatic poet.


I am NOT on the Craig’s List design bandwagon

While I enjoy playing the role of diplomat or devil’s advocate, I am not one to jump on the overly practical UI design of Craigs List. I know people point to it as a highly utilized, financially vialbe, plain-Jane site. While it has become a little cleaner thanks to some simply CSS changes, it is still just a large link farm and doesn’t satisfy the poet in me.

On the other side of the coin, Smashing Magazine has a great catalog of sites that appeal to the poet, but are repelled by the pragmatist; beautiful, but unusable sites. In this article, they do mention that “form follows function” can be considered a controversial mantra to adopt as a designer. However, there needs to be a point to the experience and a way to convey it without stripping away the beauty.


I CAN relate to emotional buying

In a related story, Donald Norman talks about the study they did about a beautiful, but potentially unusable alarm clock. Despite it’s usability “flaws”  or challenges, a few of the test group would still buy it because they were taken in by its design. If I dug into my closets, I bet I can find a few things that fall into that category.  However, I know the pragmatist in me has returned things that in the end just don’t work.


Where do you fall in the spectrum?  Or do you think there isn’t a spectrum at all?  That things can only be beautiful when they are useful?

Let me know.


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2 Responses to “Pragmatic Poet”

  1. toto
    April 27, 2015 at 7:44 am #

    I agree, Craigslist design is so outdated, looking at it for the first time , you would never guess that it’s such a big website utilized by almost everyone in the US. I guess Craig has a good reason to keep the website looking that way because it’s still generating millions of dollars . I like simple yet eye catchy design. For example , has such a simple website layout like Craigslist but it adds a little more colors to be appealing visually.

    • Karol Czyrka →
      April 27, 2015 at 12:46 pm #

      That’s a great example, thanks for sharing. I agree it reflects simple, yet has some shine of design.