220 Answers From Designers On Being Efficient, Successful And Productive

Consensus is a great way of dealing with indecision. Not sure what the best course of action is? The most efficient method to go about something? Just ask someone for advice. Or you could ask a lot of people. Not that we all have time to track down others in similar professions and quiz them on their habits and processes. That's why it's extremely helpful when a person like designer Yevgeny Yermakov goes to the trouble of compiling tips from over 40 designers, with more on the way.

Image: University of Salford Press / Flickr, licensed under Creative Commons 2.0

Back in April, Yermakov set up a website called "5 Questions for 100 Designers" as a side project. Since then he's published 44 interviews with other designers, each consisting of (mostly) short answers to the following five questions:

  • What difficulties did you face at the beginning of your career?
  • What should a young designer do in order not to get hired by anybody?
  • Are there any things you wish you knew at the beginning of your career?
  • Are there any rules or habits that help you do your job more efficiently?
  • Would you recommend some books that young designers might find useful?

In regards to working efficiently, almost everyone interviewed brought up a variation of keeping a good schedule, be it maintaining a "tightly organised calendar" or making "list and reminders ... for everything".

As for chasing success, designer Jessica Hische suggested being "egotistical / overly confident". This doesn't mean going into jerk mode -- it's about having confidence in your abilities and reflecting that confidence in your attitude. On the other hand, Leta Sobierajski advises patience -- a characteristic see regrets not adopting earlier in her career. While "immediate satisfaction" is nice, Sobierajski found that persistence and taking one's time with a project (when applicable) led to greater rewards.

These are just snippets from the 44 interviews currently available -- with another 56 to come. You'd do well to at least skim over the answers and if you're particularly keen, bookmark the site so you can go back and read other answers as they come in.

5 Questions for 100 Designers [Official site, via Fast Company]


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