Choosing a design preference?
Some things are complex, but they are even harder when it comes to choosing a personal preference in anything unless it has been tested and trusted, I am sorry to say this but it is going to be a long one.
So welcome back again to my series, I hope the last one helped you get somewhere.
So let’s talk about choosing a design preference, designers tend to find it really difficult to ascertain the exact design field they would love to go into or, are passionate about, so we tend to dabble around different design skills in order to find what truly fits our person.
You see, when it comes to finding your passion in a job, it requires a certain level of effort and dedication that would fuel every fibre of your being when you eventually find it, and when you do, everything becomes seamless and effortless because it is driven by a cause.
These reasons could range from:
Just a few I can identify with, I know a lot of people would not recommend you get into a career because of the Money, well, they have a point, when money drives a cause, we tend to be blinded by lack of purpose and without purpose driving us, we could easily lose our way in no time.
But then again it is really not a bad thing to start a career because of the money involved, I believe that when you get to a point, you find your purpose around what you have chosen.
So how do you identify that you really want to do something and do it well regardless of the reasons?
Here are a few things that helped me find my passion for product design.
I am a good researcher, I find it fun playing around with a lot of things, to see what really works, I love finding new stuff and I love playing with new toys.
This has fueled my desire to become a product designer, I realize the work involved and I get to show up every day, even days I don’t feel like it.
Trial and Error:
I have tried a lot of things before getting to this point and some of them are Graphic design, Digital art, illustration, filmmaking, 2D animation, whiteboard artist, Print and media and so much more.
I didn’t settle for anyone at any point and I moved a lot and very quickly, I see where things are not working and I try to perfect them, maybe it’s my inability to be indecisive about a career path or if it’s just simply the fear of doing something without meaning that kept me hungry, but I am glad I went through the process.
Some people don’t necessarily have to go through all I have gone through, all they have to do Is try one or two design skills and they know where they fit into, but not me, I wanted to try it all, and it came at a cost but I am glad I went through the process.
The passion to create is born out of the necessity to make things right- right cause in your eyes, they could be even better- better than you left them, so you tell yourself, why don’t I just create this.
So yes passion, this is the mantra in the field of Art, Science, Technology and Mathematics, without passion to fuel your process, you could eventually die a very calm and relaxed death literally.
So why passion
Passion births purpose, with passion you can easily identify what your purpose is in a field.
It could be something as small as helping people who are unable to walk, talk, or people without sight use a product an average everyday person uses, in design, this is known as Inclusive design.
This has given birth to some of the most amazing things we have alive today, from a man going to the moon, to a car being built, to a child being born, to an uprising commencing, to a people being decimated, to a life being created, to a woman moaning passionately during sex.
Life itself revolves around passion and with it, purpose can be found.
You might ask why love, but honestly, why not love, so yea Love is important, without it, you might not feel passionate about your chosen field but once you love something about it, be it the process, the people, the collaboration, the growth, the tedious work that goes into making something useful, the solution, the drive, the people who eventually uses what has been built and so much more, love fuels passion, passion leads you to your purpose and it maintains your reason for doing anything.
For me, my passion for research, processes and creating beautiful and useful products has been the reason I would continue designing. it is exciting seeing people use a product you design, it is exciting knowing this problem you solved is actually helping someone live and work better, that is why I chose to design, I love what it does to people, breaks barriers and how it builds confidence.
Strengths and weaknesses:
While searching, identify what your strength and weaknesses are in your chosen field, this helps you identify what to work on and what to build on as you continue in your journey. For me, I realized that as a designer, I had to speak out more often, in fact, my job requires me to convince stakeholders on why I had chosen a certain design process or pattern, and it also requires me to defend my design choices across the organization both from my design lead to the product lead, to the PO’s and Developers.
I found it difficult at first so I came off as being really hard when giving my opinion on a subject matter and I was unapologetic about it, people really got annoyed, some got pissed but the message was passed and people acted accordingly, over time I have learnt to be understanding while taking criticism and giving one, it might feel off character cause it almost always feels off character but it is mostly required for conflict resolution.
When you eventually find what you want, you need to be consistent, you have to find that fire in you that burns everything that is lazy about you, if it’s sapa that does that, hold on to it till you leave the trenches, if it’s purpose and passion that does this, continue waving the flag of glory, but make sure you never stop however difficult it becomes.
Like they say, Na who give up, fuck up.
Finally, enjoy the process, it only gets better from here.
I have really said a lot today and I hope this would help you find the next best thing that sets you on fire, also I feel I wrote this as a letter to myself, just as a reminder as to why I am so passionate about product design and why I can and should never look back.
See you in my next episode, I would be touching more on this topic
Hey, I am Chinedu a professional Product Designer with emphasis on User Research, Lean UX Design Methodology and continuous optimization of the design thinking process. I believe that Good design shouldn’t lose the human feel, good design should be usable & accessible, good design should be human-centred, and good design is simple yet powerful.
I make awesome pixels that make life easier follow me on Twitter to continue this conversation. You can also check out more of my work on my portfolio.