There are a handful non-design skills that designers should learn. This isn’t another blog about ‘Should Designers Code?’ or what software they should learn, but about skills can accelerate workflow, design process, and client communication. These four soft skills aren’t taught in design classrooms, but developing these interpersonal skills can help you be a more efficient worker.
You aren’t working alone. More often than not, you’re a part of a team. Successful teams communicate clearly and concisely. Clear communication eliminates any guesswork or possible errors. The less back-and-forth there is between teams, the quicker work gets done.
Design doesn’t speak for itself, communicating and justifying your work is how you’re going to win over clients. And for anyone applying for jobs, an applicant that can clearly communicate their thought process and carry a conversation looks very, very, attractive to hiring managers and creative directors.
Whether you’re working in-house or agency (I’ve interned at both), there is a lot going on at once. Organizing, prioritizing, and completing tasks on time can and will get stressful. It’s important to learn how to manage different projects all at once. Just like good communication, good project management speeds up workflow and looks great on a resume. There are classes online and books you can buy to help you learn on your own time. Nothing beats real world experience, however.
There are classes online and books you can by to help you learn on your own time. Nothing beats real world experience, however.
At its core, design is about problem-solving. You are creating solutions to client needs, whether it’s a logo, website, or print design. Outside of design, being skilled at conflict resolution can be a helpful skill around the office.
Be reliable. No boss wants an employee who half-asses everything. Being a reliable and committed employee can be the difference between getting a raise or promotion. Looking for a new job? Reliable employees are going to have good referrals.
Even if you’re still in school, this a good time to learn some non-design skills. These are lifelong habits, and bosses aren’t as forgiving as teachers.