Zaid Hisham


When you were a child you did everything designers do. You experimented, poked and prodded things, tested limits.

Now, as a designer, your playground is people and their problems.

A doctor needs an illness to treat. Similarly, design needs a problem to work on; it does not happen in a vacuum.

Either solutions are uncovered or new possibilities are created.

Since what we call problems are inherent to humans, there is really only people.

Design exists to improve people’s lives. Hence, to be an effective designer, the two innate qualities you must dust off and polish are:

  • an overwhelming love for people
  • and a desire to serve them

Your only obstacle to serving people is your fear of the wrong answer. Fear will sap your design powers like Kryptonite. In fight/flight/freeze/fawn/f*ck/feed, critical thinking turns off. Intuition takes a backseat to the illusion that we are rational beings.

A new perspective: there is no wrong in design.

Wrong is a remnant of assembly lines. Factories. A long gray slog towards conformity that extinguishes the fire in your heart.

The only constant is learning and adjusting course until you arrive at something usable, useful, and beautiful.

If you haven’t solved your peoples' problems, keep poking, pushing back, and playing. Everything outside of that - nomenclature, labels, processes, and methods - are all tools invented by people that you pick up and put down in service of people.

“Design is one: Subjects change, materials change, processes change, but the creative and investigative mind proceeds relentlessly with its own discipline through all necessary steps toward the relative solution of the given problems."
― Massimo Vignelli

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