September 25, 2020

What Do People Get Wrong About Designers?

We asked our design team about the biggest misconceptions around the work they do. Here's how they responded.
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Design is easily one of the most misunderstood lines of work there is. If you’ve ever heard people comment on a piece of art saying “I could do that”, or bicker about a designer’s work being “overpriced”, you probably know what I mean.

Just a few months ago, The Sunday Times even published a poll stating that 71% of Singaporean locals think Artist is the most 'non-essential' job during a pandemic. This sprouted heated responses all over the world about the importance of the arts, which includes design work.

To those who have never set foot in the field, design looks like it’s easy and requires no smarts. It is in everything we see — our digital devices, our homes, the chair that you’re sitting on, and even the webpage you’re reading from right now — yet, it is so taken for granted. Why?

We gave our designers a penny for their thoughts, and learned a few things.

“I could do that.”

People often assume…

“It's easy.” — Leni

“That design is easy and fast, and that everyone is capable of designing since there are many free softwares out there on the internet. The reason why everyone wants quick work from us is because they tend to underestimate the time and effort we invest in each design. 

Creating a design is rarely the problem. Creating a great design that is set apart from others is challenging and takes time.” — Kelsey

“That designing is easy, and that what we do can't bring value.” — Jye Miin

“So, you like drawing?”

People think…

“That design is solely ‘art’. Though there is art in design, design is often also about problem solving. It’s often rooted in basic principles of decision making.” — Mei Kwan

"That designers just do arts or create beautiful things. We actually often use design concepts to solve problems. That includes little things like the style and position of a button, colors, margins, etc.

These all serve to solve problems that users face, or rather help users achieve their goals when they interact with the apps/systems that we build. Design makes everyone's lives easier." — Adri

"You must be talented!"

And people misunderstand that...

"Design is all about the talent. It’s a common misconception that design comes naturally to us.

Design requires more than an eye for aesthetics — it's often about user experience, purpose, creating solutions, and empathy. While we constantly learn, practice, and adapt in developing an eye for good design, we should also build on these fundamental principles. Talent, skill, and experience all play a part in making a great designer." — Han

In what other ways do people misunderstand design work?

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