Get off my lawn

In the past week I’ve read like 4 or 5 different articles all explaining the proper way to design software, the way to become a better designer, and everything in between. So let me make sure I have everything down: designers must code, write copy, sketch in a moleskin, be full stack employees (whatever the fuck that means), and of course they must prototype. Duh. If you don’t do any of these you’re an obsolete dinosaur that stinks of oatmeal. Got it.

I already have serious imposter syndrome. God knows how I survived as a designer without ever owning a moleskin, or having good grammar, or knowing sass. These articles certainly aren’t helping me one bit with my sense of shame. And I’ve been designing for a while. I can’t imagine what it’s like for a young designer growing up in the industry now.

Look, it’s not like these things that we “must” do aren’t helpful as designers, of course they are. But it’s not as black and white as people would have you believe. There’s certainly more than one way to skin a cat. I mean, where’s the humility? Where’s the curiosity and sense of wonderment? No, you haven’t yet discovered the one and only secret of becoming the designer Megazord, and even if you have, it’s most likely a very personal one that’s hard to replicate and depends on a very specific turn of events or personalities.

You want some advice: stop reading advice articles. Advice from someone you do not know is not advice at all it’s just another opinion (yes I realize the irony of that sentence). Do you really need more opinions in your life? Formulate your opinions from doing, not from reading how others do. This is one of the main reasons I stopped blogging, because it seemed like all my posts had to pack a good moral lesson or else they weren’t worth the time to read. If I ever go back to blogging, it’ll be about “boring” stuff, like how to make a good shakshuka or something.

Anyway, I realize this is a rant, and rants are not much of a cool or productive thing to do. But I just wish we’d stop trying to project how we work onto others as a means of self justification of our own actions. If you discover a cool technique, by all means, please share it! But try to avoid presenting it as if it’s the only or best way to do things. I promise, I’ll try to do the same. Deal?

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