As a designer I struggled with accepting the importance of learning soft skills being that I was of the popular opinion where I believed I was a remote worker and so far I give good designs then all is well. It was until my first interview before I knew I was kidding myself.
It is important to know that design goes beyond the pixels on a screen or the use of software like Figma. It’s about understanding people, solving problems, and creating meaningful experiences, and while you may be honing your technical skills and unleashing your creative potential in you, there’s an often overlooked aspect that can set you apart in the competitive design landscape – soft skills.
Here are 4 soft skills to learn that would help build a relationship with not only your boss, colleagues or friends but would also improve and build a good relationship with your users:
Communication is at the forefront of these skills. As a designer, you must effectively convey your ideas, thoughts, and visions to clients, colleagues, and even stakeholders. Clear communication fosters strong relationships, ensures everyone is on the same page, and paves the way for successful collaborations. Being able to explain your design decisions and receiving constructive feedback will help you grow as a designer. One way to grow and improve this is by joining and interacting in a community like HerTechTrail.
Empathy is another invaluable soft skill. By putting yourself in the shoes of your target audience, you can truly understand their needs, aspirations, and pain points. Empathy enables you to create designs that resonate deeply, forging emotional connections and leaving a lasting impact. Embracing empathy will make your designs and thoughts user-centred, intuitive, and inclusive.
Collaboration is the backbone of any design. As you embark on projects, you’ll find yourself working with diverse teams, each member bringing their expertise and perspectives. Collaborative skills allow you to navigate different ideas, find common ground, and create positive solutions. It is crucial to embrace teamwork, active listening, and embracing different viewpoints.
Problem-solving is the stronghold of a great designer. Soft skills such as critical thinking, adaptability, and resilience equip you to navigate the inevitable challenges and roadblocks along the way. By approaching design problems with a growth mindset and a willingness to explore alternative solutions, you’ll find yourself overcoming obstacles and pushing the boundaries of your creativity.
Finally, in the fast-paced and ever-evolving design industry, possessing a soft skill is what sets extraordinary designers apart from the crowd. Learning and understanding design theories and law make the foundation, but the integration of soft skills truly showcases your potential as a designer.
So, as you embark on your design journey, remember to nurture your soft skills alongside your technical abilities. Seek opportunities to enhance your communication, empathy, collaboration, and problem-solving skills. Embrace the power of effective communication, understand the people you design for, collaborate with diverse teams, and approach problems as exciting challenges to conquer.
Design community Lead