The classical ‘maker’ version of you needs a shift.
The notion of design has stretched beyond ‘making’ for quite a while now. If you are getting lost in the pixel weed often, then take a pause to see what it takes on the field to become a designer who is much more than the classical ‘maker’.
While the art of crafting impeccable user journeys, creating stellar visuals, prototyping compelling futures will continue to be expected from you, there are few other versions of you that will come handy in shipping wild ideas, influencing boardroom decisions and hence in making bigger dents out there.
Unlike the bygone age of functioning in a silo with pure creative forces at work, you have got to be constantly juggling between being a quiet observer, critical thinker and a persuasive seller. Practice the art of switching in a blink.
From business insights to user’s views to developer’s curbs — there are going to be a variety of energies making way to your desk vying for your love. Take a break from pushing pixels and be a good host to these energies. They will propel your craft forward.
You will be tying many strings together. There will be people (probably more than the number of layers on your sketch file) chipping into design decisions — business strategists, researchers, product managers, developers, data scientists and may be more.
It is going to be your work to bind these teams, their goals and views towards a coherent vision. I know it could be fatigue-infecting. To a few of you it might come naturally or you would have learnt it in school. If not, then start practicing it now, wherever you are. It will be exponentially worthwhile.
The culture setter
You, my beautiful soul, will be looked up to for bringing cultural changes across multiple levels. It could be your working team, your organization, your market or your society where your ideas will matter.
Learn the art of driving responsible and ethical cultural shifts. Build the courage to make changes on canvases much larger than the rectangle on which you are reading this.
P.S. — That picture is from an Indian tribal museum where craftsmen from across the country exhibit their stellar work.