What makes you a so-called kickass designer?

Ever wondered what makes you a better designer? Why few go places but few get stuck. What I have seen over the past two decades, are these parameters that can definetly influence you to be a much better designer.

Obsessiveness

This comes as a default package in most of the designers and yes it is one of your biggest asset. You have to be obsessive about anything and everything that you are surrounded by.

  • You may be a crazy pixel pusher with an terrific eye for detail
  • You won’t settle for good, but always strive for best
  • A heavy mood swinger
  • You may have your own way of doing things
  • You might be a big critic of your own work
  • You set your bar way high
  • You might be finicky about things

Just be cautious that there is a very thin line between obsessiveness and arrogance, and it is very easy to fall prey for the later.

Empathy

This might sound absolute contrast to the previous point.

Designers are generally perceived to be tough to handle and in most cases they are not a good team player. All your obsessiveness would be mere waste if you don’t empathise with following,

  • To your problem/product
  • To your clients/business
  • To your team (Executives, Product Owners, Engineers)
  • To your fellow designers
  • To time/deadline
  • To success & failure

Try to be as rational and objective as possible. End of the day, you are not playing an individual sport, but a team game. You have to be part of the team to win and without collaboration it is impossible.

Story Telling

Story telling was never new to us, since our childhood. It is a proven technique used by all our mothers to convince us to get things done.

One of the key role in a designer’s life is to convince hundreds of people that their idea is worth pursuing. The art of story telling in UX might not be easy, but it does MAGIC.

“I pitched Titanic into the studio as Romeo & Juliet, epic romance & a passionate film” James Cameron | Director of Titanic

“Why not have these 11 villagers fight against britishers in a non-violent form” Ashutosh Gowariker | Director of Lagaan

Story telling helps to bring the following with your target audience.

  • Engage
  • Clarity
  • Convince

Put yourself in a film directors shoes, he needs to first convince producer about his vision. Very similar to how UX Designers convince about their product revamp/new design proposal to their respective product stakeholders.

Once the storyline is set, director needs to collaborate with his actors, actresses, cinematographers, musicians and other technicians to make his vision into reality. Likewise UX Designers role is to collaborate with Product managers & Engineers to translate their design into product reality.

Try to keep your story Simple, Relevant & Structured.

You don’t need any external blessings for this miracle to happen, you just have to connect these dots to see the magic happen itself.

Good luck!

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