Design perception

Last week I wrote a post called Dev perception:

I have a suspicion that there’s a silent majority of developers who are working with “boring” technologies on “boring” products in “boring” industries …you know, healthcare, government, education, and other facets of everyday life that any other industry would value more highly than Uber for dogs.

The sentiment I expressed resonated with a lot of people. Like, a lot of people.

I was talking specifically about web development and technology choices, but I think the broader point applies to other disciplines too.

Last month I had the great pleasure of moderating two panels on design leadership at an event in London (I love moderating panels, and I think I’m pretty darn good at it too). I noticed that the panels comprised representatives from two different kinds of companies.

There were the digital-first companies like Spotify, Deliveroo, and Bulb—companies forged in the fires of start-up culture. Then there were the older companies that had to make the move to digital (transform, if you will). I decided to get a show of hands from the audience to see which kind of company most people were from. The overwhelming majority of attendees were from more old-school companies.

Just as most of the ink spilled in the web development world goes towards the newest frameworks and toolchains, I feel like the majority of coverage in the design world is spent on the latest outputs from digital-first companies like AirBnB, Uber, Slack, etc.

The end result is the same. A typical developer or designer is left feeling that they—and their company—are behind the curve. It’s like they’re only seeing the Instagram version of their industry, all airbrushed and filtered, and they’re comparing that to their day-to-day work. That can’t be healthy.

Personally, I’d love to hear stories from the trenches of more representative, traditional companies. I also think that would help get an important message to people working in similar companies:

You are not alone!

Have you published a response to this? :


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# Shared by Rudolfs Daugulis on Sunday, April 14th, 2019 at 6:40am

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Previously on this day

3 years ago I wrote Announcing Patterns Day: June 30th

A one-day event in Brighton dedicated to design systems, pattern libraries, and style guides.

5 years ago I wrote 100 words 020

Day twenty.

9 years ago I wrote Windows mobile media queries

Solving that pesky Windows Phone 7 problem.

10 years ago I wrote Article of doubt

Once again, the data shows confusion between sections and articles in HTML5.

11 years ago I wrote Revving up

rev=”canonical” has a posse.

13 years ago I wrote Victoriartifact

A gift from another time and place.

17 years ago I wrote Downloadable fun

A spectacular car chase, bullet time, people flying through the air…