…and why they shouldn’t
1. Any/all software updates
Remember updating to the last version of Sketch? Yeah, pretty traumatic. All for about 30 seconds. And then you realize that the new version is actually a better version.
Sure, there are always some bugs with new releases, but there are bugs anyway. That’s kinda part of the game we play. Until the Singularity, bugs are something we’ll have to deal with.
And sure, some of your plugins might get funky, but that sounds like a great excuse to go grab a coffee, call your mother, and get a foot massage. By the time you get back everything will be sorted out somewhere.
2. All rebrands & redesigns
It’s pretty human to resist change, and as modern internet humans we love to share our hate for change to anyone who will listen. When Dropbox announced it’s new visual brand recently, peeps went wild.
You may not like it, feel it doesn’t fit what their company means to you, or just makes you feel uneasy. But, at the end of the day, they did it for a reason. Whether they’re successful or not, only time will tell how it impacts their company. And it will be determined by their customers, not by designers on twitter.
3. Presenting work in front of anyone
Presenting your work is not only a design thing. It’s a thing everyone does in work settings. So, you may be introverted, but you’ll still need to get comfortable with this very normal adult activity of sharing what you’ve done with a group.
The key to any presentation is being prepared. If you’re worried, prepare more. If you aren’t confident in your design decisions, own it and ask for feedback. Make sure your fear of presenting isn’t some internal script you’ve been telling yourself for years.
Anything can be learned and improved upon. Do more of it and you’ll get improve the effectiveness of your delivery.
4. Someone finding out you’re an imposter
One thing I’ve learned in my years is that mostly everyone is faking it to some degree. Most people feel some level of imposter syndrome, maybe because most people are imposters in one way or another.
That’s just part of life. The fact is that people’s views of you are likely much more positive than your views of yourself. This is especially true for designers. We’re known for being very critical of our own work, which drives some people to unhealthy levels of perfectionism.
Moral is, you may think you’re an imposter—and you might be in many ways—but others probably think you’re pretty smart and great. As long as you’re not an asshole and are pleasant to be around and work with, you’ll be golden.
5. Losing your design integrity
I’m honestly not sure this is something that haunts designers, but—unlike the others—it should be! Your role as a designer is, in part, to push back on existing ways of thinking and to stretch boundaries of what is possible. You bring intent to what you do, not colors and type.
When a designer reserves his/her opinions and simply follows the orders of their boss, their value to the company begins to diminish. This may not be apparent to your boss, but it is integral to design as a profession. Our true value is how we think about problems and propose solutions.
When our thinking is bound by a company’s legacy, and our solutions fit the mould that was there before us, it’s hard to say we’re still doing design.