Designer Advice: Recommend what’s best for the Client and their Users not what you know

I started out my journey in tech and as a designer learning WordPress. I wanted to start blogging at the time and share encouraging and inspirational content for young girls plus some actionable, coaching pieces too. I couldn’t afford to hire a designer so it meant figuring it out myself. One thing led to another and soon I was already designing for others and helping friends out. A little while after, I added UX/UI design to my array of skills. Considering how I started out, it makes sense that I would have some form of attachment and maybe even bias to the platform I used in learning and evolving to the stage I’m at now. Makes sense and there isn’t anything particularly wrong with that.

I’m a firm believer in knowing the underlying principles of a field and not falling prey to the shiny object syndrome where you keep jumping from tool to tool and trying to master it all. So if you’re really great with just one platform, I’ll say kudos to you and own it well.

Recently though, I’d say my belief grew. I still think you don’t need to know it all but I’d say as a designer, especially as a designer, you need to know enough to suggest the right solutions for your clients and for their users. If you had asked me a while ago what platform I’d recommend for you to use in developing your website, I’d most likely just say WordPress and go on to let you know why I think you should use it. I mean, no doubt about it, WordPress is a blessing and it is good! I have however come to realise that my suggestion to a client on what to use shouldn’t just be about the platform I am familiar with but about the platform that’s most viable for their needs. In other words, when discussing with a client, my initial inquiry should dig deep enough to help me make suggestions in terms of business and technical requirements too.

I don’t necessarily have to know this technical tool/platform or know all the technical tools and platforms but there’s something to be said of the person who helped the client make a decision that fit just right with their goals and not a decision just for her pocket or based on her limited scope.

Summarily, I’m saying explore solutions, explore tools, explore platforms. You don’t have to master it all and maybe try not to get attached to one (I don’t know if that’s possible… haha). Just know enough to help make sure as a designer you are able to guide your clients towards what’s really right for them.

At the end of the day, good designers should know to and actually apply elements of design thinking in their work. In otherwords, the guiding principle for us should always be pulling together what’s desirable, technologically feasible and economically viable both for users and the clients. It’s never about us but them.

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