AMA: Khoi Vinh

almost 7 years ago from Khoi Vinh, Subtraction.com, Principal Designer at Adobe

  • Khoi Vinh, almost 7 years ago

    @AJK: In the same order you asked…

    • Transitioning from designer to design manager wasn't that difficult for me in terms of giving up design and being able to "direct" effective design work. But it was really hard for me to learn how to work effectively with people. It took a long, long time—years. In fact I still don't consider myself "done" in this regard.
    • First I would say that there are self-taught designers all across the age spectrum. That aside, yes, I do think older candidates do face a challenge versus younger designers, at least insofar as this is true across all industries. One of the most valuable things to any designer is the time and flexibility to learn new skills, ideally without incurring extensive costs relative to their standards of living. Younger designers really have the edge here; they can acquire new skills very quickly with little impact on their standards of living. I wish this weren't true—not least because I'm getting older—but it is.
    • No, I don't believe this is true at all. If you look at Behance or Dribbble, you'll see a tremendous amount of self-taught talent, particularly from Eastern Europe and South America. Stateside, it might be a different question—in my experience I've seen relatively little upward mobility in the demographics of designers. At the same time however, I don't think schooling is a prerequisite for design employment; that's been true for the past decade and I don't necessarily see that changing any time soon.
    1 point