“As designers, our job is to build meaningful communication and connections between people.”

Recently, I’ve been exploring the deeper meanings behind our work and defining who we are as designers. One of the prevalent themes I’ve been researching is how one “designs their mindset.”

Strengthening our conscience with regular and daily exercise can serve us a well-rounded and purposeful life, comparative to running a marathon and the desirable effect it has on our bodies. We have a responsibility as designers to enable ourselves and others to construct worthwhile existences as communicators of the web. As we push our industry forward, we must make our mindsets adaptable and discipline our thoughts and ideas with tenacious ways of thinking.

Read, Write, Listen

These basic senses of the human physique are critical to our understanding of the world around us as creative individuals and can put our brain in a position of constant learning. Increasing our analytical and cogent thinking of the things we consider in our everyday occurrences, will give us the qualities to become better craftsmen of our practice. Looking beyond the obvious and narrowing in on processing deeper meanings will manifest fulfilment and essence within our work as practitioners of the web.

Reading means widening our perception and encouraging new ways of shaping the way we think. By increasing our spectrum of vision, we can create our own justifications. Some creatives believe that “design inspiration” is straight-forward; and while this sometimes is all it takes to get our minds running, inspiration is a parallel that is multi-dimensional and can exist everywhere. Inquiring new material will allow our minds to look beyond the obvious, build and relate connections and meaning in our design and help us on our journey to fruition as a designer.

Writing eloquently distinguishes and solidifies our internal thought process, making it easier to communicate these ideas verbally. Meagan Fisher’s article on the importance of writing and publishing resonates with me on many levels. Ideas can be “heavy, noisy things” and if you don’t learn how to cultivate them properly we can end up with cluttered mindsets, prohibiting us from performing our best. Jeffrey Zeldman also puts it nicely with this quote:

“Writing is fundamental. If you don’t write, you don’t know what you think.”

Writing allows us to discover our ideas in a new light – exposed and vulnerable.

Listening to dialogue is critical for designers, and it is almost inevitable at times because it is easy to get sucked into the realm of social activities in front of our monitors. Intellectual conversation with other human beings is a way to digest information and study angles that would of been originally unconsidered. This sharing of stories and ideas between people mentally illustrates unions and associations within the design world and how it can multiply and blossom into new ideas; with something as simple and routine as conversation.

So what does this all mean and why is it important?

As designers, our job is to build meaningful communication and connections between people. Designers achieve experiences of emotional feeling that have a lasting effect; an experience full of purpose and meaning. Becoming more articulate will not only provide imperative prerequisites to an ever-changing industry, but it will transfer significance to all aspects of your life.

Exercising our minds and moulding the way we think will render substance to our work and explanations to why design is important in our careers, and our lives.