I wrote and talked a lot about how being in a developer role has changed my mindset, and what parts I enjoy and consider an improvement over my previous roles as a designer.

One thing I keep and foster from my designer background is constantly being out of my depth.

Design is always learning new things. To design a tool for an industry I know nothing about, or communicate something I don’t understand, I must learn about it first. It’s part of Design as a methodology.

And it’s usually celebrated. When a designer enters an unknown territory and learns about it, they can communicate it while keeping a fresh perspective. This is Design’s sweet spot because you can communicate with other people who know nothing about it while having a unique take on it to be interesting for people who already know about it. Everyone wins.

That’s why designers usually have a hard time designing for themselves. They are too close and know too much for them to have a fresh take.

This also encourages designers to be contagious, to spread their ideas among different parts of the organisation. Design is more effective when it touches everything, and not only on product design. The stronger brands always permeate every single aspect of their interaction with their patrons. Everything is consistent. It makes sense.

Turns out that being proactive and going out of your comfort zone is appreciated even if you are not a designer.

When you give an opinion or suggestion to improve something it’s out of your area of expertise, people are rarely mad. They may tell you are wrong, but often they will appreciate your interest and suggestions.

It’s easy to understand why. When a leader who is confident about their decisions is challenged, they can explain their position and make you learn more about the project or the company while doing it. Everyone wins.

I always encourage people to think like a designer. To learn, to be out of their comfort zone, to take risks. Maybe it’s just the right mentality to succeed regardless of your role. That’s just how I think about it.

Also, I don’t want people to take my praise for development as a criticism of Design or designers. It’s just my journey, so take it for what it is.