I came across this article "How to Think like a Designer" on Presentation Zen, a blog about professional presentation design. It wasn't an article about how to be a designer so much as what we can learn from designers, the way they think, the way they approach things. Author Garr Reynolds, figures pretty much any profession can take something from the designer approach. Here are his top ten tips:
1. Embrace constraints: They lead to enhanced creativity and ingenious solutions that might not have otherwise been discovered or created.
2. Practice restraint: It takes discipline of mind and strength of will to make the hard choices about what to include and more importantly, what to exclude.
3. Adopt the beginner's mind: Often for beginners the world of possibilities is endless, not weighted with experience and prejudice. Don't be afraid to break with convention.
4. Check your ego at the door: It's not about you, it's about your audience. Put yourself in their shoes and approach things from their perspective.
5. Focus on the experience of the design: It's not about the end product as much as about the journey to get there.
6. Become a master story-teller: Practice illustrating the significance of solutions both verbally and visually.
7. Think communication, not decoration: Design is not just about esthetics, it is also about solving problems or improving on the current situation.
8. Obsess about ideas not tools: Tools are important and necessary, but they come and go as better tools come along.
9. Clarify your intention: Design is about process. Ease-of-use (or ease-of-understanding) is not by accident, it's a result of your careful choices and decisions.
10. Sharpen your vision & curiosity and learn from the lessons around you.
And finally, one last one for good measure: Learn all the "rules" and know when and why to break them. Read more about these top ten rules on Presentation Zen.
Garr used to be an Apple employee, just like Lesley... Hmmm. Coincidence?