Figma is making you a bad designer.

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Highlights

  • If you jump straight into a design tool you’re not using it, it’s using you and it’s sucking your creativity dry.
  • if I couldn’t do my job with pen and paper (or whiteboard and marker), then I wasn’t a very good designer. To this day, I find the sentiment to be at my advantage.

  • If you sit down to build something with a box of Legos, you’re likely going to take your inspiration from the Legos in front of you and build with what you have. Doing this over and over again, you’ll get really good at building things with those particular blocks, though they will all look pretty similar.
  • “I don’t think we have what we need here,” and articulating what it is you do need.
  • Start by imagining what’s best for the people you’re creating for and use the Legos where appropriate?
  • drawing enables the ability to think in a different manner, encouraging open-ended thought and creativity…
  • Have you ever shown a group of people a high fidelity mockup of an idea that’s been casually rolling around in the back of your head?
    • Puts them on defense — “we can’t build this, it’s a huge effort”
    • Makes them worry about your priorities — “how much time did you spend on this?”
    • Distract from what you really want to discuss — “how does this [detail] work?”
    • The creative solution space has been eliminated. The wide open space where the team could think of a bunch of possibilities has now been replaced with a specific picture. To offer an alternate idea, team members need to work uphill against the picture in front of everyone.
    • The team has experienced design as solely the creation of mockups.
  • If you’re worried about speed, remember lo-fi to hi-fi can move very quickly.
  • If you’re worried about consistency, by all means worry about consistency, just make sure you’re worrying about it at the right time in the right place.
  • Before jumping in, ideate different solutions with your team. Get a lot of ideas on the table, resisting the urge to mock things up until you have some solid directions on the table.
  • Use pen and paper for early explorations.
  • You might be tempted to work lo-fi in your design tool. DON’T! It’s far too easy to slip up or go too detailed too quickly.
  • When you’re sketching, draw the weirdest solution you can think of, ask yourself a lot of questions, draw out some anti-patterns. Sketch in narrative, drawings or clip art.
  • See how many ideas you can come up with in 10 minutes.
  • Share the mess.
  • However, showing your teammates the messy part shows what design really is.
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