A few years ago, after one too many ‘things’ related to my work as a designer got under my skin and frustrated me, I resolved to find the common theme and discover how to overcome this frustration I was experiencing. The common theme was that people who aren’t designers don’t understand design, designers and the design industry. This makes sense, right? I don’t understand medicine, doctors, and the medical world. I don’t understand accounting, accountants and the financial industry. I could say the same for every other industry and career that isn’t mine. However, these frustrations were also coming from those in positions that should understand design, designers and the design industry, maybe even sometimes those with the title of designer. I would often hear statements regarding designers that range from discounting what designers do to just plain misconceptions about what we do. Many of the things I was hearing would be so opposite from my creative compass and guiding principles.
Never going away
After much reflection, I realized that this problem will not be going away as I move through my career and I need to find a way to deal with these ‘design myths’. Not being an angsty high school kid, I couldn’t revert to posting passive aggressive tweets and Facebook posts (although I might still do that on occasion). I also didn’t think contributing to something that calls itself ‘clients from hell’ was good enough. I needed a better solution to deal with these ‘design myths’. One that allowed me to fully explore my own principles and creative compass in regards to these design myths.
Two years in the making
Two years ago, I began writing about a few design myths and sketching some ideas for a website. I also started brainstorming a name for the website. I kept putting the project off because I was too busy with other projects and too scared to actually publish this thing and get it out there. Then over this last Christmas break, I created the website within a week – but still didn’t launch it. Until this week. The result is designmyth.com – A place where I can write about one design myth at a time and sort of debunk them – or at least provide some clear thoughts/opinions about why we should think about things differently. For me, the process of researching, critically thinking about and writing each essay helps to solidify my opinions and further hone my creative compass. Am I the only one who can’t clearly define their opinions/thoughts without first writing them out?
I’ve been using the #clientsfromhell hashtag when I tweet about designmyth.com. This is mostly because the #clientsfromhell tweets are design myths in a way. The difference? Hopefully designmyth.com does a bit better than someone posting a snarky/passive aggressive post about how, ‘the client just doesn’t understand’. If they don’t understand, come alongside and educate them, but leave the snark at the door. That’s what designmyth.com tries to do.