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This article was published on January 1, 2019

47 ‘non-design’ qualities every designer should have

47 ‘non-design’ qualities every designer should have Image by: Photo by Joanna Kosinska.
  • Write clear emails
  • Be flexible; briefs change
  • Find problems before they occur
  • Bring energy to the table
  • Don’t take design critique as an insult
  • Understand the impact of moving that button
  • Make people around you feel comfortable
  • Bring 3 solutions with every complaint
  • Don’t give up too fast
  • Mute your microphone when not speaking
  • Be aware of your own strengths and weaknesses
  • Bend, but not break
  • Take notes; it shows respect
  • Pay attention to details
  • Get off your chair to point at something in the screen
  • Get off your chair to whiteboard
  • Know exactly which Slack reactions to use, when
  • Avoid jargon
  • Fail gracefully
  • Be aware of your own bias
  • Simplify
  • Offer to help before being asked
  • Make a silly joke every other hour
  • Explore at least 3 options for everything
  • Give credit
  • Deliver your work in layers
  • Smile
  • Break down big tasks into smaller pieces
  • Know when to work late
  • Do your own research, even if you’re not a researcher
  • Write copy for your designs, even if you’re not a writer
  • Organize your own tasks, even if you’re not a project manager
  • Lead, even if that word is not in your title
  • Deliver your work 2 hours ahead
  • Expand your skill set over time
  • Invite people for coffee
  • Honor requests
  • Share your source files
  • Be ready for a meeting 2 minutes before it starts
  • Know how to negotiate
  • Engage with the design community
  • Share thought leadership content online
  • Avoid conversations that will exclude some people
  • Back your decisions with data whenever possible
  • Don’t hold information that can help others thrive
  • Encourage feedback
  • Leverage the strengths of others around you

Inspired by master of marketing, Seth Godin, and adapted to the design universe.

Anything missing in the list? Drop a comment below.

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