The designer's goal with every design should be to strive for the most optimal signal–to–noise ratio. The signal is the message the designer wants to communicate to the audience, the noise is all other information that doesn't serve to communicate the message.
This signal–to–noise ratio can be improved in three ways:
- The signal is maximised,
- the noise is reduced or
- the most preferred —and often hardest— both.
To maximize the potential of the (practical) designs, the message needs to be communicated as clearly as possible. The designer strives to develop designs that work together to a single purpose.
Any information presented either not clearly or inappropriately degrades the signal and adds noise. This makes the design less potent.