Digital Influx
3 min readMay 28, 2020


Photo by Dayne Topkin on Unsplash

The theme for Mental Health Awareness Week this year was kindness. Chosen for its ability to unlock our compassion and share it with one another, it is a quality that is told in the stories of when we’ve felt protected, supported, moved, and loved.

The famous author Mark Twain stated that ‘Kindness is the language which the deaf can hear and the blind can see.’. It knows no physical, linguistic or cultural boundaries. Practising kindness is something everybody needs to enforce and experience to get the most out of living.

Like kindness, design is recognised as an effective communicator. Here are some ways that design can help kindness:

Reduces Stress

Studies have shown that just under an hour of creative activity can relieve stress, regardless of artistic ability or experience. Letting your mind go elsewhere for some time can ensure a clearer headspace for problem solving — a necessary skill in the design industry.

The workspace in which you design can also aid stress. Some workplace stress management strategies include featuring outdoor plants to provide refreshment and connection to nature, along with having a separate area for socialising — a communal place to share kindness amongst colleagues.

Improves Self Confidence

Design is not only an opportunity to learn creatively, but is a practice that boosts self esteem. Creativity is a form of self-expression that ensures voices, interests and thoughts are heard regardless of mental health. Not only do you feel a sense of accomplishment admiring the finished product when alone, but interacting with users offers a generous helping of kindness and praise as work is critiqued.

Brings Fresh Perspective

Opinions provided by critique highlighting fresh perspectives and encounters that designers may not have realised are within the common goal of achieving a great user experience. Alongside critical thinking, creative problem solving, and teamwork, designers are in a cycle of using their attention to care and kindness to create positive experiences for users.

Creates Sense Of Belonging

Creative interests foster new people, networks and experiences. Who we are, how we relate to one another and how we feel about our communities are interpreted in our creations — offering insights into the past, present and future through various disciplines. Receiving acceptance from others, as well as giving that kindness to yourself, guides you to play an important part in design and local communities.

Is An Antidote To Isolation

A remedy for isolation is formed from the kindness included in communities and awareness of others, as well as the affection for ourselves through increased self worth. Design encourages us to unite to spark conversation and contemplation protecting mental health is a vital discussion at present as feelings of loneliness, anxiety and depression increase due to the pandemic.

Current times are allowing a reset for prioritising kindness within how we all interact and think about society. Make kindness a core value of what, how and why you create.

Author: Sophie Hall