A Design Manifesto

Victoria Ayo
Aug 5 · 2 min read

I am a designer who uses creativity and an open mind to learn from everyone. I strive to design with people rather than for people.

I have been fortunate enough to understand the power that comes with design. They have the ability to understand and impact the decisions people make every day. Having seen that power used and abused has led me to a few ideas to live by:

Design for inclusion

I know that design has not always been the most inclusive discipline, which is what makes me drawn to it. I am drawn to the places that have been designed for the people but without them. Places where design has been neglected or more of a second thought. This attracts me to industries that put people first, such as non-profits and organizations working on value driven projects.

Collaboration over all

I value deep collaboration in every part of the design process as a way to validate ideas, ensuring that we design the right thing along the way and innovate.

I am not the expert

I have seen what happens when designers sees themselves as the main experts in their products, when that title should really be going to who they are designing for. I have seen the consequences of not validating your ideas beforehand. My priority is to make design a collaboration between the user and designer. I want others to know that design isn’t some magic formula for making beautiful things. It is a method for making functional, useful things that serve others.

It’s ok to say no

It’s ok to say no to some projects to focus on the ones that mean the most to you. It is also ok to use your work to find meaning and build relationships. Refusing to work on projects that can be destructive allows me to take full advantage of expanding the meaning behind my work no matter how seemingly elementary a project may be.

Be creative and have fun!

Designing for a living is a privilege. I have the opportunity to create great work that can positively affect people. Don’t take yourself too seriously. Learn something everyday and never ever think you know it all. You can always learn from anyone.

Victoria Ayo

Written by

Experience Designer and Strategist who is passionate about using creativity and an open mind to design with people in addition to for people