I can’t stand seeing designers hit walls. The nature of designing is creating a reality from the kernel of an idea…but a vision isn’t enough. More often than not, I see designs stall for reasons that have nothing to do with the quality of their ideas, or beauty of their visuals.
There is a skill set to designing successfully that is not obvious at a glance. This is the art behind the art of any design: understanding the full spectrum of people that are impacted, sharpening observations about real-world usage, tuning into the cleverness behind the build, or finding the ingenious relationships that makes it economically feasible.
This is my attempt to explain the techniques that I have seen work. I have a unique perspective on this, and aim to cover the following topics in an easily digestible format:
Understanding and users, following their motivations and knowing where instinct and empathy can get you.
Design by doing, both the dark arts of technique and thinking more critically about what you are communicating.
Process gets personal, in practicing self-awareness to determine what matters regardless of what tools you use.
Together on teams, which may be the biggest deciding factor of your success on a project.
Crafting a career, a constant puzzle, and a game whose participants build the rules as it goes.
These posts are based on my own observations and conversations I’ve had with colleagues while trying to help them get unstuck. I’m capturing these tidbits and tossing them out into the ether in the hopes that they’ll help others too, and it’s a good excuse to practice a bit of writing and illustration along the way. If you’re finding you hit walls with your project, team, or company, drop me a line; I’m happy to offer an opinion, and may make it a topic of a future post.
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