47 ‘Non-Design’ Qualities Every Designer Should Have


When it comes to doing design work here at MORF, it is always important to take extra steps in making sure every project we do with our clients is pushed beyond the boundaries. Below is a list of important things we consider to make sure our clients are happy:

  • Write clear emails
  • Be flexible; briefs change
  • Find problems before they occur
  • Bring energy to the table
  • Don’t take design critique as an insult
  • Understand the impact of moving that button
  • Make people around you feel comfortable
  • Bring 3 solutions with every complaint
  • Don’t give up too fast
  • Mute your microphone when not speaking
  • Be aware of your own strengths and weaknesses
  • Bend, but not break
  • Take notes; it shows respect
  • Pay attention to details
  • Get off your chair to point at something in the screen
  • Get off your chair to the whiteboard
  • Know exactly which Slack reactions to use and when
  • Avoid jargon
  • Fail gracefully
  • Be aware of your own bias
  • Simplify
  • Offer to help before being asked
  • Make a silly joke every other hour
  • Explore at least 3 options for everything
  • Give credit
  • Deliver your work in layers
  • Smile
  • Break down big tasks into smaller pieces
  • Know when to work late
  • Do your own research, even if you’re not a researcher
  • Write copy for your designs, even if you’re not a writer
  • Organize your own tasks, even if you’re not a project manager
  • Lead, even if that word is not in your title
  • Deliver your work 2 hours ahead
  • Expand your skill set over time
  • Invite people for coffee
  • Honour requests
  • Share your source files
  • Be ready for a meeting 2 minutes before it starts
  • Know how to negotiate
  • Engage with the design community
  • Share thought leadership content online
  • Avoid conversations that will exclude some people
  • Back your decisions with data whenever possible
  • Don’t hold information that can help others thrive
  • Encourage feedback
  • Leverage the strengths of others around you

Inspired by the master of marketing, Seth Godin, and adapted to the design universe.

Anything missing in the list? Drop a comment below.

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