Want to Be a Better Designer? Travel.(austinknight.com)

7 years ago from Austin Knight, Product Designer at Google

  • John Jackson, 7 years ago

    I love to travel and I do believe it benefits me as a designer. With that being said, you don't necessarily need to buy a plane ticket to Peru to broaden your creativity or become a better designer. We can find great diversity much closer to home. I live in North Carolina. It's interesting to see how different people can be in various areas of my state. Of course, we're not talking about the magnitude that you'd see if you were to visit Haiti, but I would argue that it's much better than nothing at all.

    You don't have to spend a ton of money to travel locally, but you can experience some of the same diversity that you'd see overseas.

    0 points
    • Austin Knight, 7 years ago

      I completely agree with you and I think it's awesome that you've applied this back to interactions in your own community. Truly, the principles that I introduce in the article can be applied at any scale (even in small interactions at the local coffee shop).

      While I didn't specifically mention it in the article, I especially think that designers in the US could benefit from getting to know even their own country better. Many of us are based out of major metro areas, where everyone thinks and acts a certain way, but we're designing for populations much larger and more diverse than that. If you're designing a product that's being used by Middle America, you're not even going to begin to understand your audience when living in New York or San Francisco. There are so many opportunities to get out there, experience different cultures, develop empathy and a deeper understanding, take away some inspiration, and apply that back to our work.

      Of course traveling to another country is on a completely different level. But I agree with you. Those who understand this concept (and will end up getting the most out of it), are those that can see how it's applicable at any level.

      At any rate, my main goal with this is to encourage designers to prioritize travel in their lives and see the opportunities that it can present to help them get better at what they do. This mindset could be used as motivation to save up for a trip to Peru, or as inspiration to re-think ordinary everyday interactions. Both are valuable.

      1 point