Why do design?

Imagine a situation of several people in a strange city. They don't know very much about the layout of the city. Each person is given a destination to reach by a certain time.

Some people just jump into the nearest car and start driving aimlessly. They may stop and ask directions from time to time, but usually from other people who don't know any more than they do about the city. They have to stop and retrace their paths several times, may even have to stop and get more gas. They may not ever reach their destinations, on time OR late. They may reach their destinations, and you might say they had an "interesting" drive!

Other people ask for a map of the city, sit down with paper and pencil in hand and lay out their route. They ask questions, they plan ahead and make a few contingency plans, like "if this road is blocked, what would I do?" and "if I run out of gas, where are some gas stations?". Then they get in their car with their route in hand and drive directly to their destination. If they wish, they could have laid out the route so it went by some scenic views, but they knew how much time they had and what they had to accomplish to reach their destination.

Which do you think is a more enjoyable experience? Why? Which person learned more about the general layout of the city so they could drive to another destination later if they needed to?

Yes, you can argue that an "unplanned", "spontaneous" drive is more fun, and if you have no time or destination pressures, that can certainly be true! And you may discover something on that wild ride that you would never have known about otherwise. But for repeated trips, the designed way surely is easier on the nerves.

Some people say that they can learn more by wandering around than by following a map. IF you really exert yourself to do the wandering and make notes about where you go and where you end up, then yes, that may be true. But most people in the situation of "wandering" without a map tend to panic and don't really learn much of anything, at least nothing they can recall later.

Some people take a couple steps towards the destination and give up. "It's too hard." "I don't know where to go next". In those situations, if you HAD to get to your destination, what would you do in real life? You'd ask for help, you'd stop and get a map, you'd make it your business not to be stuck, you'd be persistent until you got where you were going.

Some people figure, it doesn't really matter WHO gets to my destination, as long as somebody does, and pay someone else to take the trip and pretend to be them when they get to the destination. It may even fool the people at the other end for a while; but what does it do for the person who doesn't do it themselves? It makes sure that the NEXT time they have to make a trip, they will be just that much more lost in the city, and they'll have to pay again and again and again in lots of ways.