We panelists all agreed: while every designer need not be a coder, every designer must be a hacker of sorts, mashing together whatever it takes to bring blurry, partially defined concepts into sharp focus. If you are wondering which tools to learn, simply pick one and get started. The choice of tool is irrelevant as long as the experience with the result conveys the idea and allows collaborators to distill their own thoughts. Put simply,
A designer’s ability to imagine something in their mind’s eye with a high degree of detail and convert that to a realistic likeness removes the mental burden of having to visualize from others. This frees them up to apply their own domain expertise to the problem at hand.
Rather than competing against the next person, you can chase your future self. Matthew McConaughey chases his ideal self, ten years in the future. He says, “Every day, every week, every month, and every year of my life, my hero is always 10 years away. I’m never going to beat my hero. I’m not gonna attain that. I know I’m not! That’s just fine with me, because it keeps me with somebody to keep on chasing.”