This article will tell you about 5 general skills that every designer needs to incorporate within themselves to design better and reach one notch above the competition. Incorporating these habits will get you closer to your clients and prospects and improve your design's functionality overall.
Design and innovation is increasingly taking the world by storm, with newer concepts like Design Thinking and Design Sprints. A career in the competitive field of design requires a wide skill set. However, with the basics all aired out, a designer must have an array of additional skills to have just the right edge over his adversaries. Be it an array of soft skills, basic knowledge of art, UI/UX design advancements, simple web designing skills, or mastering complex software, an additional set of skills ensures that you surpass all.
Here we have 5 essential skills that help you to advance in your design career:
1. Empathy -
It is a crucial element and truly the first step towards becoming a better designer. Empathy plays an especially pivotal role in human-centred processes such as Design Thinking. Empathising helps to get personal grasps of users’ needs and obtain valuable insights into the users’ world by observing and consulting with users.
2. Extensive Research -
User-oriented research is a must to create empathetic and personalised designs. Primary research involves collecting new data to understand who you are designing and what you would potentially plan on designing. On the other hand, secondary research uses existing data such as the internet, books, or articles to support your design choices and the context behind your design. Research thus plays a pivotal role in evaluating the problem and creating/designing a customised solution.
3. Time is of the essence -
To design better, you have to first design (Duh!). Proper time management is a key aspect in improving yourself as a designer. For this, you need to know how you work and your strengths and weaknesses. Knowing your productivity rate can help you eliminate the extra time spent on a particular project. However, taking breaks is also very important: recharge, reflect, and focus on work effectively and efficiently.
4. Communication -
Good design always creates a language for your product to communicate with users and solve their problems. Communication here can also refer to portraying your ideas in such a way so that it gets through to the client. Communicating your ideas is important to properly translate and explain your thought process to your team, other designers, an organisation, or the end-user. Communication and interaction are also important to know your client's wants and needs and deliver an entirely personalised design.
5. Collaboration -
Bringing together different ideas, roles, and team members on one single project basically defines Collaborative design. Incorporating collaboration into our designs is a way to grow and become a better designer truly. Starting conversations with other designers, taking internal reviews, testing prototypes, etc., are important for collaboration. Collaboration is also helpful in bringing together many different ideas, creating a newer, better design.
That being said, these skills are only useful as additives to your basic knowledge of Design and Art in general. Design has always been and always will be evolving, according to the need of the hour. We can always rely on innovation to bring better solutions to the table. Design trends come and go, and the industry itself evolves with those trends too. Additional skills are simply creative challenges that are a beautiful additional feather to your designer cap is taken up and conquered.
In recent times, a designer must have an array of additional skills to have just the right edge over his adversaries. 5 skills that truly take your design career a notch higher are empathy, time management, research, communication and collaboration. These additional skills help advance your Design career to the next level.