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, 12 tweets, 3 min read Read on Twitter
1. More than background, it's employment. It shows when designers have only had #design jobs, compared to those who have wider work experience: telemarketing, teaching calculus, bagging groceries... any other context. And it's never too late to get wider life/work experience.
2. The reason is design, as a worldview, is rarely at the center of how work is done. Designers who studied design and worked in design, usually enter the workforce baffled by how little anyone cares about design, even though that's the majority of work environments there are.
3. Designers with other experience, or who enter design thru an indirect path, aren't as surprised/upset about this. They knew it before they got deep, and they're often (not always) more pragmatic about being effective -willing to do "non-design" tasks that facilitate design.
4. An exception is industrial design programs, which seem to incorporate the idea that "designers must collaborate with other experts" by design (ha ha). That design ideas will be vetted by manufacturing experts, so it's a collaborative process. The ideas are just the beginning.
5. These are sweeping generalizations of course with exceptions everywhere. Which #twitter makes hard to avoid.

Yet, the folks I've seen be more productive/connected to teams are often ones w/ less pretense and often that's from design not being the only way they see the world.
6. I often hear a "why should i have to do X?" attitude about things I write about #design, and that's it in a nutshell. You don't have to do anything! But if you want Y, and don't get it easily, the only way it's going to happen is if you do something about it. That's just life.
7. There's something naive about becoming a designer, a profession with a LONG history of feeling ignored & undervalued, and being surprised. Or a failure of education & leaders to frame "the real life of designers." There are tons of ways to change this, but they're not free.
8. Pragmatically: it's never too late. Example: If u work with project managers all the time, find a way to volunteer to lead some kind of project. It will change your view of them and the world. Do some work where you're NOT the designer. Your perspective will improve.
9. If that terrifies you, that's exactly why you most need to do it. Your identity is too wrapped up in your job and it's holding you back from being a better designer.

Volunteer organizations always need people to help in various roles. It's an easy way to grow and be useful.
10. But the trap of "they don't get it" and "why don't they listen" without be willing to take any action puts you on the bitter path many designers have had for a long time: that we deserve better simply because we do. There's a chance they're right, but that's not enough.
11. If you work in a place that's great to be a designer in, that didn't happen by accident. Someone paved the way for you (find them and thank them). If you're in a place that isn't great, who is going to pave the way? It's probably you, or it's not going to happen.
12. I'm a true believer in the power designers have. But that belief is that this isn't magic. Workplaces are ppl. Ppl have culture. Culture changes, but someone has to lead the way & that's not about knowing more "design".
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