How To Think Like a Designer

by Daniel Appleton
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Furniture, signs, clothing, computers are all products of design. Design is everywhere, and that makes it easy to overlook. Learning to observe the world with a perspective of design and reflect on things as a designer is very useful because it offers a great way to understand the world. Design is, was, and will forever be crucial to our survival.

If you offer beginner, intermediate, expert-level design services, graphic design services specifically, thinking like a designer is not a difficult task; however, it may require a focus change. Let’s find out some key elements that can help you think like a designer.

1. Think communication, not decoration

Design is not all about beautification and aesthetics, although aesthetics are also one of the vital components. Overall, the design aims to solve problems or make the current ones a little or very much better than before. Design isn’t more than just an art, although there is an art in design.

2. Get obsessed about ideas, not tools

Although tools are vital, they come and go as better ones will always come along. Softwares become upgraded and outdated as time goes by. So, obsess instead about ideas and innovations. Even though most tools are ephemeral, some of your most vital tools might be a simple sketch pad and a pencil. An excellent piece of advice is to go analog at starting your graphic design career with the most straightforward tools.

3. Adopt the mindset of a beginner

As a wise man said, in an expert’s mind, a few possibilities live, but in the mind of a beginner, there is a world of possibilities. Designers are aware of the need to take risks, especially when exploring problems. They are not scared of breaking free from conventional approaches. Excellent designers are comfortable and open-minded with ambiguity at the start of a process. That how they make remarkable discoveries.

4. Leave your ego at the door

It is not about you; it is about your target audience, apprentices, customers, and more. Look at situations from their perspective, place yourself in their position. Empathy is another underrated soft skill that can make an immense difference; it is a crucial tool to truly understand a problem.

5. Focus on the designs experience

The design isn’t what is making the difference; it is its experience. This point closely relates to #4 above: place yourself in their position. How does your audience interact with your design? Recall that every design has its unique emotional component, which might be the most vital (although most designers are unaware). Do not neglect the emotional part of your designs.

6. Become an adept storyteller

Usually, not only the design is essential, but also the story it emanates from. This point is related to #5 above. What does design indeed mean? Practice illustrating the significance of the design visually or verbally. Begin with the peripheral, delve into the details, pull out again to remind us of the concept, and then delve in again to focus on more details.

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