Should designers…?

Don’t let anyone tell you what’s best for you, but read this for another non-opinion.

Q. Should designers code?
A. If they want to. And if they would rather learn to cook, they should do that.

Q. Should designers create non-solicited redesigns?
A. If they want to. If they feel thats the way they can best grow and learn new things.

Q. Should designers use this or that software?
A. If they want to. And if that’s what helps them do their best work.

We’re always so quick to tell others how to do things. How best to use their resources, their knowledge, their experience. We like to tell designers what they should design, or shouldn’t, or what software to use, how to build a design system.

I’ve built a couple design systems, which are a hot topic, especially when it comes to working with a team. My experience in this and my career thus far has led me to a couple conclusions.

A design system is only as helpful as accessible it is to the person using it.

Everyone who accesses your design system is different, from the way they use their mouse (or not use a mouse) to the way they search for a component. It’s important to understand that there is not one right way to design, to build a component, to share a file.

You can’t control how someone uses your design system or creates a design, but you can control the ways in which you share with others, and build a design to allow others to use it to their best ability and preference. Sometimes their preference is defined by being differently-abled, or is actually created by restrictions set by their workplace.

A successful ecosystem requires the balance of various forms of organisms to thrive.

Our differences is what makes us beautiful, and enables us to grow as individuals and as a team. Do what works best for you and your team, with what resources you have.

Work today so that tomorrow you are proud of who you were yesterday.

Let’s stop trying to tell each other how to design, and focus on making better versions of ourselves as designers, not compared to others, but to who we were yesterday.

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