Are you fit for a career in Design?

Sorting Hat: Hmm…difficult, very difficult. Plenty of courage I see, not a bad mind, either. There’s talent, oh yes, and a thirst to prove yourself. But where to put you?

Harry: {whispers} Not Slytherin. Not Slytherin.

Sorting Hat: Not Slytherin, eh? Are you sure? You could be great, you know. It’s all in your head. And Slytherin will help you on your way to greatness! There’s no doubt about that! No? {Harry whispers: Not Slytherin…anything but Slytherin} Well, if you’re sure…better be…GRYFFINDOR!!

Remember the scene in Harry Potter when the sorting hat decides which house Harry would go into? And remember Harry getting anxious about getting into the wrong (slytherin) house?

Not a Harry Potter fan? Okay.

Well, I just wanted to draw the analogy of how great it would be if something similar happened in our life. Just like the sorting hat read the signs of Harry Potter becoming a great wizard in house Gryffindor, how amazing it would be if someone could read our personality type or our interests and could tell which career we’re best suited for.

Specifically for a career in Design!

signs that you are fit to be designer

The reason is because I know people who are blessed with some magical design prowess and yet they choose to ignore it. They are either dissuaded by the lack of a degree from art school, or surrounded by clouds of self-doubt.

If you’re one of those people, allow me to be your sorting hat for a few minutes. No matter if you’ve just finished college or are looking for a fresh start in your career, here are a few heavenly signs that will guide you home-

  • You understand fonts and typography

If you spend hours looking at lettering portfolios, if certain fonts make you cringe because they are too curvy and illegible and you wonder why people are going gaga over it- well! This is the first sign that you’ll be a great fit in the design team.

The expertise of fonts and typography is a different field altogether, but if you are able to figure out what works  in a certain situation and what doesn’t, then other technicalities can be worked out later.

For example- you notice the difference in the reading experience when you read text in different mediums. You have a faint idea that the choice of the font, the size of the font and typography play an important role in sending the right message to the users.

fit to a designer

  • You talk to friends about a faulty user experience

Most people settle for whatever comes their way but not you! When you’re shopping on an e-commerce website, you remember that checkout was really a breeze. But you also remember the ones that had zero consideration for your time and ruined your buying experience.

You might not always know exactly what was wrong but you definitely have some ideas on what could have been better. So, you talk to your friends about it to understand if they too felt the same (and if they did, Bingo!).

Ofcourse, that doesn’t make you a designer, but it definitely makes you a good observer. And that means you have a knack for discovering usability issues and you understand why designing a great user experience is important.

  • You check out new Logos

Logos are much more than a name/shape placed on the top corner of a website/product. They define the personality of an organization/brand. Depending on the type of logo, they also exemplify the passion, values and vision of the company/product.

For example- Nike’s “Swoosh” represents the fluidity in the motion, thereby making the wearer feel extremely confident while running.

If you’re a person who understands that every logo has a story and you can’t stop admiring, exploring and reading about them, then your designer soul is to be blamed. There’s still a long way for you to go, but you’re at a good starting point.

  • You marvel at the gradient in natural landscapes

People go to mountains and beaches to enjoy a vacation, but you travel to marvel at nature’s design. You just can’t stop appreciating how nature has everything for everyone. Even for a designer.

You look at flowers and you see a gradient. You look up and you see the hues of the sky changing with sunlight. You look at the water in the rivers and oceans and you wonder how nature has so many colors and how every color evokes a different emotion.

Everything that you see paints a vivid picture in your mind and you immediately feel an urge to record your feelings so that you can put it to use later. So you take refuge in either painting, sketching, photographing or writing about your experiences.

  • You use a product and you know something is not right

Be it writing with a pen or holding a new cutlery holder you bought, you instantly figure out that something is not right with the product.

When you use the product you look at aspects like ease of usage, shape, size, ergonomics and look for factors which enhance safety and comfort in using the product. Nothing makes you happier than using a well-thought and well-designed product. But you cringe when you’ve to use a badly designed product because you feel that it could have been built better only if its designers had put a little more thought (or did usability testing) while designing it.

  • You are the aesthetics in-charge of your house

Nothing moves in your house without your permission. You are the chief decorator of the house and you like things neat and tidy, placed according to their needs. Even your family/friends acknowledge that it’s much more ‘useful’ when you arrange things.

This doesn’t mean that you aren’t messy. But you’re creative in your own way and you know which painting needs to go where, where should the wall clock be placed and what’s the right place (ergonomically) for a bookshelf.

There are many other ways to tell if you have an eye for design or not. It’s possible that you’ll not fit in any of the above stated characteristics of designers, or maybe you’ll fit in all of them. But the idea is not to put your talent in a box, rather the idea is to help your explore what makes you creative enough to start thinking of a career in design.

I hope you find the right guidance and opportunities to learn and make a career in design.

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