What we design

Often when I receive CV’s, designers rate their software skills. I see a lot of designers raving about the latest design tools too. This one uses sketch, that one uses XD and that one uses Figma. Truth is, I’m not overly interested in how you rate your software skills. Based on your experience, there is an expectation that you understand how to use design software, so which you use really isn’t that important.

The software companies are constantly updating features, but they’re pretty much the same. You’d be a fool to overly invest too much time being a master at any one of them, but rather generally be capable of using the software the organisation is using. The learning curve would not pay off, they’re simply that easy to use.

What designers need to focus on, is what we do. I like crafting a UI, just as much as the next guy. We’re no longer pixel pushers, we work with standards, patterns, brands, and design systems. There’s a bigger picture in mind. What we design now, are better products and experiences. We are being paid for our thinking and our ability to solve problems.

Invest your time in becoming a better problem solver, a thinker, a strategist etc. Visual design is an output, but your thinking is the input which is the majority of the design process. So next time you put your CV together, list your contributions and skills to solve problems, what we design, not the software we design in.