Hardest UI Questions Vol.2 🧐
Courtesy of @xdpodcast
Do you think there is something missing in what is being taught in design schools? I’d love to know in the comments!
“What's the number one skill all designers should learn that they don't teach you in school?”
Context // Too often we have blinders on to the outside world when we are in school. I think that goes for teachers or students. There are many incredible things to learn while in school, but what about the real world stuff they don't teach you?
I think all designers should learn how to measure the success of their designs. Design can be seen as subjective, but user-centered metrics and business metrics are essential for any project.
To determine the value of your design services and be effectively paid for it. To be able to know how much you need to make each month to live, in addition to business expenses/taxes and equate that to viably charge for your services.
Pretty bland, but you're running a business after all and you want to be a successful designer, not a poor artist.
The one thing I would say school is not teaching you, is how to find your niche. That one thing you are really good at, that thing your future clients will know you for, that thing that makes you stand out.
I think I would say “Real World Process”. The best way to do this is through seeking out work experience while you're studying as much as possible. What you have learned in design school might be outdated or not practical anymore. Always keep learning from outside your school.
Meet up with professionals at events or conferences. Studying design trends, soft skills, and the business of design will make you different from the other new grad designers.
While schools can be a crucial foundation in your UX career, they just lack real practice. Which I think is the best way to really learn a skill.
When I say real life practice, I mean, things not going the way books and professors are describing it. The only way to prepare yourself for things going wrong – is by having things that go wrong.
Soft-skills development. Though, that's quite a broad notion that takes years (if nit life) to develop. It includes all sorts of stuff:
- Embracing the unknown
- Taking responsibilities
- Making important decisions
- Working with your own flaws and biases
- Opening your mind/constantly learning
- Taking, and giving, feedback
- Critical, ration thinking
- Presenting your work
- Resolving conflicts
- Confrontation when needed
These are very intangible things, but many companies hire creatives primarily for these skills, not for hard skills.
Everything! Literally too much to even list. In school, you learn just a fraction of what you'll need in the real world. So never stop learning. Be humble enough to recognize what you don't know and prideful enough to learn it. I recommend starting with strategy services, business fundamentals, marketing principles, and soft skills. None of these are taught deeply enough in design school.
Bonus: 4 tools that may be useful in your designer way:
Crello — the simplest online image editor. A simple but powerful tool to create awesome designs for any social media format — posts, covers, graphics, and posters using the best software on the web. It’s easy! A lot of animated designs.
Webflow — all-in-one web design tool that allows users to design, build, and launch responsive websites visually.
Funnelytics — an incredible tool that helps you build the best marketing funnel mapping.
Flowkit — allows designers to create frighteningly fast user flows within Sketch and Figma.