to learn as a  designer

A while back this tweet by Andrew Allen made the rounds. It illustrates the learning gap for design:

It’s true. For example, look at these themes that the on the Buzzfeed team pursue in the course of the their growth as :

Themes around which designers on the Buzzfeed team deepen their skills. Besides ‘Associate Product Designer’ they have three other titles. It’s a great resource and they are generously sharing it . Read it here.

There is Visual Design, Design, Toolkit, Process (the ‘Design’ bucket in Allen’s figure); Recruiting, Culture, Leadership, Mentorship, Communication, Transparency (the ‘Management’ bucket); Data (the ‘Statistics’ bucket) and Fluency, Patterns, Product Thinking (Overlap of ‘Design’, ‘Computer Science’ and ‘Business’).

That’s quite a bit of stuff to learn. It can be a bit scary for someone starting out.

Where to begin?

If Allen’s tweet is the 30,000 feet view, how do you zoom a bit closer to the ground and get started? Which skills do you start learning first?

At Zomato, my previous company, me and one of my teammates got a chance to prototype this.

Arpit has been a developer for several years and he wanted to try out for the design team. So we designed a 10 day bootcamp of sorts where he tried on a design project every day, and we followed it up with a two-way crit. We would critique the design, and then we would critique the process.

The idea was to help Arpit get the path to becoming a designer and identifying core skills that could be useful to anyone starting out as a designer.

Here’s are the 5 component skills we identified:

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