User-centred focus.

Being a whizz on Adobe Creative Suite.

Being incredibly passionate about design.

We all know that there are some key skills to push when we are talking about being a good designer. Thats why every time I read a summary at the top of a CV I see the same few skills repeated over and over again.

Whilst these skills can be important, there are also plenty of other characteristics that deserve to be recognised as key attributes of a good designer. These are the types of talents that I rarely hear people shouting about on their CV’s or during interviews, but more importantly, that I just don’t hear people talk about improving in their design practise.

This post is going to focus on three of these skills that I believe are under-utilised and under-appreciated by designers and include some tips to help you kickstart your development in each area. Let’s dive in!

Running a workshop or design sprint with your cross-functional team can be one of the most worthwhile uses of your time.

Nothing beats getting everybody in the same room, problem-solving and working together. There is no faster way I know of to clear up assumptions, debate a variety of viewpoints, and grow empathy for other parts of the design + build process that you may not be involved in than a good old face-to-face working session.

However, getting all that goodness out of your workshop or sprint is predicated on the idea that everybody in the room is willing to be open and collaborative. If there is some hostility to the idea of your sprint, nervousness or anxiety about the meeting, or other floating elephants in the room, you won’t get the most out of your workshop.

To combat this, one way I like to kick a stakeholder workshop off is by using Hopes and Fears.