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January 20, 2020
175: The other side of design (it's more than pushing pixels)

In this episode we talk about how design is more than just pushing pixels. As a designer you may find yourself completing any number of tasks - planning researching, exploring, scoping, interviewing, wire framing - we could go on and on. Sometimes this can be frustrating. This week we discuss a query from a listener about what to do when you feel that design is the last thing on your to do list.

key takeaways

In our experience we each spend about 60% of our time designing. If you had asked us five or ten years ago what percentage of our time we would spend designing, the number would have been much closer to 100, rather than 50.

You might feel that when you’re not designing, you’re not really working, but thats not true! You gain valuable insight, knowledge and context from the additional work that you do. Design is deep work. Solid uninterrupted blocks of time will help you to progress with your design tasks. If you don’t have these blocks of time at your disposal, try to figure out how you can create time that is solely for design. 

If you don’t have the context that is needed to create the design it is all the more difficult to defend your design decisions. Your peers may understand your work better if you can communicate why you made the decisions that you did. Understanding the problem will help you to come up with a solution. 

All of the tasks you need to do should support your design work. If you find yourself doing other tasks then it is time to evaluate if you are the right person in the company to be doing that work. Sometimes you might be. 

Being proactive is really important and people will value you for that, but be smart about it.  Know when to step in and also when to step out. The amount of additional work you have to do will vary depending on the size of your company.

show timestamps

01.55 – Catch up 

06.42 – Our listener’s query

14.50 – Tips for managing extra duties

22.04 – Tasks that designers should not be doing

27.05 – When to step out

show links