Engineering vs. Design

I am fortunate enough to live in a community with parks scattered throughout the area. There are a few like this one that sports small waterfalls. On pretty spring days, you’ll find an endless stream of people lining up to take pictures on the rocks or in front of the water.


Except for all that damned electrical equipment plainly visible from the street as you pass by.

This got me thinking.

This picture clearly demonstrates the difference between engineering and design.

You can tell this was an engineered solution. I feel certain it meets all the codes for the county and is easily accessible for repairs or maintenance. The placement is (I’ll assume) a logical one. Maybe even one that saves a little money. But this ugly mishmash of electrical boxes is right in front of the waterfall spoils the beauty behind it.

A designed solution takes greater care of what this park is all about: Capturing the beauty of southeast Texas. I’m confident a designed solution could have met all the county codes and specs without interfering with the waterfall, making the total experience of the park that much richer.

Think about this next time you go to, or are working on, a website. How many sites are perfectly engineered but lack any aesthetics? How many developers let the engineering overshadow the user experience? With a little care, could you make a site tightly engineered while still making it beautiful?