When you choose to become a Designer, if you were taught the right thing, you have silently signed a document promising that you will solve problems. What they don’t tell you is that you will not be able to turn it off. It’s one of those careers which truly tranforms your entire mode of thinking. “Design thinking”–that’s what ‘dem business folk call it.
From your first day, ‘You can change the world,’ is drilled into your head. This website could be better. This tool could be easier to use. This house has really strange outlet placements. This shirt feels weird. The process of buying this ticket is cumbersome. Their customer service could be more efficient. This communication is unclear. In fact, this entire business model is unclear. This process is stuck here. What about politics? What about world hunger? What about environmental issues?
What can I do? I can typeset this better. I can create a new tool. I can renovate this place and change the outlet placements. I can create my own clothing line. I can help this business fix their ticket terminals. I can offer my suggestions on how to make this customer service line more efficient. I can help rewrite this sentence here or help you brainstorm business models. Why don’t I move into management and bring my design thinking there? What if I join IDEO? What if I join Doctors without Borders? The world just needs more Designers!
Yes, Design matters, however, the key to maintaining sanity in this profession is admitting that sometimes the problem isn’t meant for you.