How aging designers can stay relevant

Having the ability to shift your perspective allows us to realign our thinking. In my case, I was having a difficult time seeing the forest for the trees. New design technologies and specialties were obscuring my judgment and confidence.

By stepping back and allowing myself to see the big picture, I realized that all these new design specialists and applications serve a greater unchanging purpose of producing designs that communicate meaning and trust — a fundamental truth in the pursuit of good design.

A mindset focused on the big picture allows experienced designers to build authentic relationships with those interacting with our designs from a more strategic vantage point — thus enabling us to see the forest and the trees.

In my case, this fresh perspective inspired me with a newfound interest in the area of brand strategy. Branding is somewhat of an evergreen skill that requires a broad view and a deep understanding of the design, marketing, and user landscape. Plus, branding has been around for hundreds of years — the same cannot be said for many other design related disciplines.

In my experience, a common hurdle in our industry is persuading organizations of the value of implementing strategies such as design thinking or UX methods. However, by designing and crafting brands with the capacity to transcend and communicate meaningful design objectives, we can help articulate the need and support designers who bring new skills to the table to achieve these objectives.

The most critical insight that has helped me, and that I want to relay to other seasoned designers, is not to conflate the method with the mission. Obsessing about the newest technology or design identities is a mere distraction to the greater purpose that design serves. And to which we experienced designers can add the most meaningful value.

Categorized as UX

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