What would you ask a designer?

over 3 years ago from , Founder


I'm researching the format of «design talks» and need your help — what are the most interesting things about the designer/design teams' work?

What questions would you ask your favorite designer about his work, workflow, tools, solutions, etc? What are the most interesting topics for you?

Except «What does your typical workday look like?», «Your workstation?» and «What's your favorite drink for inspiration?».



  • Thomas Michael SemmlerThomas Michael Semmler, over 3 years ago

    They always ask the same questions. They always give the same answers. Most "design talks" are only promotion platforms for the individuals being asked. Ask them real questions, for example:

    • why do you think it is that there are so many images of nike shoes on dribbble?
    • why do designers not want to make their own website?
    • how do you think the act of creating a portfolio has changed, now that instagram exists?
    • Do you think dribbble or instagram are improving or degrading the design community?
    • What is your opinion on designers preying on newcomers with courses that provide little value but are rather expensive?
    • Where is the line between applying / interpreting a trend and just copying it?
    • Do you think the treatment of design professionals as influencers based on the amount of reaction they get on social media is a problem?
    • What is your opinion on fading jobs, like webdesigners, graphic designers, etc?
    • Do you think it is harder nowadays to be a solo designer?
    • What is your opinion on design tools increasing focus on team features?
    • What is your opinion on dehumanising design via design systems and pattern libraries?
    • How do you combat productivity / hustle porn?
    • Do you think the fact that designers are expected to make a name for themselves by playing the social media game antagonises creative individuals?
    • Do you think that the type of person who designs has changed over the last 10-15 years?
    • Do you think that any voice counts, even if their dribbble shots don't get 3k likes?
    • What is your opinion on the ever changing term that designers use to describe themselves? Is there any merit or is it all just nonsense?
    • Some designers think that designers have never been less empowered by tools as they are right now. No tool offers the entirety of what is needed - why do you think that is?
    • Why do you think some people flock to Adobe XD, even though it is subpar with every other design tool out there?
    10 points
    • Paul Mit, over 3 years ago

      Well, this is absolutely all the questions that exist in this world. Thanks!

      0 points
    • Paul Mit, over 3 years ago

      What about «money» questions? Everyone is interested , but no one is talking.

      2 points
    • Matt KMatt K, over 3 years ago

      What a devastating list of questions. Good job.

      I would also add:

      • Why do most design tools still focus on drawing boxes on pages, when the things they are supposed to represent are anything but?
      • Why do you think people flock to Figma when it holds your designs hostage more completely than even Adobe does?
      1 point
      • Paul Mit, over 3 years ago

        Thanks, Matt. What are the arguments that Figma holds designs hostage more than Adobe?

        0 points
        • Matt KMatt K, over 3 years ago

          The main one is if you don't pay the money you can't access your files, especially if moving from a team account to a free personal one.

          In addition, the only way you can get your designs out of Figma are as a flattened vector or bitmap, or a .fig file, which is compatible with precisely nothing else.

          At least with Sketch, if you stop paying the licence you can keep using whatever version you ended up on, and Adobe's file formats are widely supported by other vendors.

          And as Figma has taken on so much funding, there's no guarantee that they'll be around in their current form for long. VCs want their payday, and that will either result in a sale, or an IPO with intense pressure to increase revenue.

          2 points
    • Alex CampAlex Camp, over 3 years ago

      This looked fun so as a designer I'll answer these

      • people who do unsolicited designs/redesigns like starting with incredible photography (shoes, movies, album covers, cars, etc.)

      • either lazy, or don't prioritize it as being important

      • social media is very unhealthy. but you need to leverage it to get ahead

      • although there are plenty of negatives, dribbble/insta are good for the community. inspiration comes from anywhere, but it's impossible to argue it can't come from those 2 sites

      • people have different moral standards. ppl should also do their due diligence (and just use YouTube) before paying $$$

      • is there a line? all I have to say is neomorphism is prob bad ux, and dark mode is good ux

      • yes, #s are pretty, but what are you really looking for? ppl need to think more about what makes them happy

      • automation is a real thing, but in the end, if you're good, someone has to tell the machine what works and what doesn't. also, I haven't seen anything tangible yet but I'm sure it's happening

      • solo as in freelance? not sure, I've been doing freelance in addition to a full-time job for like 9 years and never been able to live off freelance alone

      • team features are helpful, why not have the option to toggle them on or off

      • not sure. I've started the beginnings of two design systems for small companies and can say anecdotally, I'm able to make changes to the libraries pretty quickly as it evolves. larger companies that would be harder

      • not sure what productivity / hustle porn is. if visuals or ideas inspire me, I spend more time thinking how I can implement in my workflow

      • ya but that's just outside forces. if you love what you do and always try to be better, others will see that • I haven't been designing for 10-15 years yet but would venture to say yes. environmental effects... when I started nobody really talked about ux design being it's own thing

      • there's prob some metaphor out there that reminds us that even janitors have good ideas that can change the world

      • over the years, I've gravitated towards calling yourself whatever you want your next job to be. companies don't really care, they just want to 85% see you're a culture fit and 15% design well enough to execute their goals

      • if you can't adapt to what's available what does that say about you

      • because it's free? they wanted the flock so they went bold

      1 point
  • Denis Bolshakov, over 3 years ago

    "Except «What does your typical workday look like?», «Your workstation?» and «What's your favorite drink?»." - Can relate. As for the topic, I would like to learn more about good and bad design. Shed some light on the thought process when considering any choices in a project.

    4 points
    • Paul Mit, over 3 years ago

      Thanks. The idea of finding out why certain design solutions were rejected looks interesting.

      0 points
  • Aaron Wears Many HatsAaron Wears Many Hats, over 3 years ago

    "Can you please make it pop more"

    2 points
  • Benedict Harris, over 3 years ago

    Usually it's "can you save the images you left on your desktop to THE SERVER, please?"

    2 points
  • Dan BDan B, over 3 years ago

    "How do you evaluate the business impact of your design? That's a question that is—surprisingly—almost never asked.

    1 point
    • Paul Mit, over 3 years ago

      The thing is that almost always the designer doesn't know how to measure this impact. Especially in companies where design is only «one of many stages of development» (95% of market). Very few companies are really driven by design.

      0 points
  • Scott ThomasScott Thomas, over 3 years ago

    Granted I am a designer... usually I asked fellow designers about problems I am dealing with right now.

    • How does your design process fit into the agile process at the start of a project?
    • How do you implement user research/testing into your design process, If you do at all?
    • What's your success or failures dealing with living style guides?
    • What challenges do you face right now in your projects?
    • How do you deal with the internal politics of the client when designing?
    • What does your design/dev handoffs look like, what is the biggest issue with it?
    • How do you currently document your discovery/research?
    • How do you balance clients' wants vs devs capabilities when designing?
    • How do you write your design-related JIRA tickets?
    • Do you do visual QA on your projects after development?
    1 point