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Designers are lucky because their jobs are incredibly stimulating. It’s fun to create beautiful, functional things that people actually enjoy. Non-designers also love being a part of the creative process. It feels good to collaborate and actually make something. The danger is when someone is not qualified or skilled enough, but insists on playing a hands-on role in the design execution. Studio Function.

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Designers sell a process and know how to apply that plan to solve problems and address communication objectives. Design isn’t just sitting in front of an Adobe program and pushing coloured boxes around—it’s about discovering and fully understanding the client’s problem and leading them to a point of actionable clarity. It’s easier to get to a point of clarity (and an approved design) when there is a defined plan right from the beginning of the project. Studio Function.

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Do we want our future to be dictated by big companies, with independent input coming only from those young or privileged enough to be able to work some of the time without payment? Do we want our brightest minds to become burned out, leaving the industry or heading into jobs where the best scenario is contribution under their terms of employment? Do we want to see more fundraisers for living or medical expenses from people who have spent their lives making it possible for us to do the work that we do? I don’t believe these are things that anyone wants. When we gripe about paying for something or put pressure on a sole project maintainer to quickly fix an issue, we’re thinking only about our own need to get things done. But in doing so we are devaluing the work of all of us, of our industry as a whole. We risk turning one of the greatest assets of our community into the reason we lose the very people who have given the most. Rachel Andrew.

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The ability to give time, energy and professional skills free of charge is a privilege. It is a privilege that not everyone has to begin with, but that we can also lose as our responsibilities increase or as we start to lose the youthful ability to pull all-nighters. Perhaps we begin to realize how much that free work is taking us away from our families, friends, and hobbies; away from work that might improve our situation and enable us to save for the future. Rachel Andrew.

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I tend to travel quite a lot because of my work, and luckily I've always really enjoyed train rides. I find that they often provide a good opportunity to relax, read or simply watch the landscape passing by, but I can also get quite a lot of work done during a train ride. There are not many distractions so I can focus. Alice Savoie.

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You watch for patterns. You see what people love, and you see what they are trying to do. Then, you and your team use your product expertise to implement features that help people accomplish these things. It’s important to note that the way you design it may not be exactly what people expect.

It’s okay if you don’t give people precisely what they ask. Trust that you know how to design features that will enable what folks are trying to do and make your product stronger for the people who haven’t yet tried it but will. You still have to keep things simple, and like I said, that’s complicated.

Biz Stone.

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Keeping things simple means letting go. It means giving up some control to the people who are going to use what you’re building. Build the basics and as people use it, you’ll discover two things. First, you’ll find out where the value is. Second, you’ll find out what’s missing. Then you iterate. Biz Stone.

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If you want to publish a handsome edition of a book as well as a cheap one, do so; but let them be two books, and if you (or the public) cannot afford this, spend your ingenuity and your money in making the cheap book as sightly as you can. William Morris.