• Dirk HCM van BoxtelDirk HCM van Boxtel, over 3 years ago

    What helped me cope with life as a designer:

    Realise that EVERYTHING related to design is just a set of tools.

    "Set of tools" means that something might be a hammer or a screwdriver, and one of these is better at nailing a board to a wall than the other. Occasionally, even though you're an expert hammer-wielder, you might have to use the screwdriver instead or, alternatively, leave the job to lil' Bobby Screwdriver, who's better at it then you.

    This goes for ui patterns, software, design processes, coding frameworks, conversation techniques, etc. Literally anything that relates to the field should be considered a tool.

    This should help you make less biased decisions during your career about which approach, technique or process to pick for each individual project. This, in turn, will make you a pleasure to work with since you'll be flexible, open to discussion and able to get to resolutions faster.

    In fact, even the approach outlined above is just a tool. You can make an exception to the "consider everything" approach, for example if you want to create a process that will smooth out your production because you DO stick with 1 pattern, app or system.

    But the point is that this lets you take a step back on everything and analyse without bias.

    .edit: This skill is best combined with a metric tonne of empathy. Empathy will allow you to look through the eyes of a third party, imagining what tool would be ideal for the situation.

    .edit²: This tool-based-approach also will make you realise why "tool X" vs "tool Y" discussions should never be about better vs worse, but about strength vs weakness, unless the discussion clearly defines the situation in which the tool is used.

    2 points