HomeNewsDesigner’s Self-Checklist: what kind of designer are you or want to become?

Designer’s Self-Checklist: what kind of designer are you or want to become?

UX Planet — Medium | Geunbae “GB” Lee

Some of the characteristics of a designer that you might be interested in reading about during your free time. Who knows? You might be motivated 🙂

Master of craftsmanship

  • Able to come up with designs of products or ideas with strong (high quality) visual and interaction design in any form the people go “wow!”
  • Always stay up-to-date with the current design trends, guidelines and tools to execute desired, trendy and pretty-looking designs
  • Leads the design industry with new design trends and creative solutions
  • Has plenty of knowledge in the various kinds of design tools that helps to shorten time throughout the design process (plug-ins, frameworks etc)
  • Has a solid understanding of the design system and can contribute to the company-wide design guidelines and tools that help other designers shorten their time
  • Confidently expresses the possibility/feasibility of the suggested design solutions and takes initiative in leading the team
  • Able to create high fidelity prototypes with attractive visual design
  • Regularly uploads and showcase work on places like Dribbble or Behance to look for feedback and actively involve in inspiring other designers

Detail-oriented perfectionist

  • Pay close attention to minor details that other people can’t catch (alignment, colors, layout etc)
  • Regularly follows up with the engineer to improve the product quality or when implementing the new design
  • Always prepared to answer any questions about the design decisions made about the product (organizes ideas and documents well)
  • Tries to catch micro-expressions or any kind of feedback from the users during research sessions
  • Does thorough research when beginning the project and during the project (looks at competitor’s products, analyze findings etc)
  • Sometimes, being comfortable to act as a devil inside the room, giving honest and straightforward feedback rather than just nice ones


  • Documents the design process well (photos, iterations, research outcomes, needs, pain points etc)
  • Knows what to do next at each of the steps (raises important questions, categorize needs of the users, analyze pain points etc)
  • Efficiently presents the current work in an organized fashion to other team members or during the design crit to get some feedback about the design
  • Keeps the working space organized and tidy (naming the design iterations well, keeping related files in a folder together, Artboards are aligned and named accordingly etc)
  • Everyday at work, there is always lists of things to accomplish


  • Knows who to design for and why solving the problem will help them
  • Understands the specific types of users (country, culture etc) and their behaviors, emotions and situations when using the product
  • Takes feedback about the product well and looks for opportunities to improve
  • More passionate about helping the users, not oneself’s deadlines and performance (although meeting those are also important)

Part-time coder

  • Knows how to write and understand some code (i.e HTML/CSS/JS)
  • At a level where ideas/concepts can actually be expressed in real-life (i.e tangible, visual, audible etc)
  • Communicates well with engineers about what’s feasible and what’s not in a given time frame
  • Comfortable tackling on small tasks that engineers don’t have time for
  • Expresses design skills further by doing side projects
  • Takes part in hack-a-thons to invent new things as a multi-skilled designer (who can do some front-end development)

Passionate writer

  • Able to clearly articulate the problem trying to solve, document ideas and findings well as well as making all of these easy to read by other people
  • Regularly writes on Medium or other publications about UI/UX/IxD (anything related to design) with interesting topics and unique experiences that people can relate to and empathize
  • Actively searches and thinks about a topic to write (could be inspired by other people too)
  • Not shy about sharing thoughts and experiences to other people
  • Takes in advice and comments with opportunities to grow
  • Effectively organizes the content with clear justifications and reasons which are good practices to have for a designer

Active learner

  • Always looks out for new tech/design/industry trends and stay up-to-date
  • Spends time reading news, journals, magazines, articles (i.e Tech Crunch) during commute or free time
  • Watches tutorials/tips videos from Youtube, Udemy, Udacity or other places to learn and develop technical and soft skill sets
  • Rather than thinking that certain skill sets are unnecessary, at least have the courage to get a chance to learn about them (i.e how to design for AR/VR, sound design, IoT etc)
  • Willing to take in feedback from others graciously, always looking to grow instead of being pissed off at reading unfriendly comments
  • Talented at being able to catch and adopt some of the characteristics/skills that other people have to own advantage
  • Always hungry to learn new things instead of being satisfied of the current position/role

Curious innovator

  • Actively searches for opportunities to enhance the current product’s user experience, income revenue, conversions, feature upgrades etc
  • Doesn’t shy away from asking questions to teammates and even to people higher up the corporate ladder (with preparation of course)
  • More of a self-searcher and do-er rather than someone who needs consistent hand-holding or guidance
  • Looks at more than one option (or design solution) with willingness/curiousness to investigate other possible ideas
  • Never satisfied about the product because there’s always problems to solve
  • Always eager to meet new people and find out ways to efficiently work together in teams

Communication genius

  • Able to easily grasp the attention of everyone in the meeting room
  • Nails down successfully of what the current problem is, why it’s worth solving, who the current users are etc (being able to clearly define the problem statement and move on throughout the project)
  • Keeps the meeting times concise, efficient and fun while bringing every talented people in the room together to work out a solution
  • A person that others can trust and rely on when the task is handed over knowing that they will get updates on the progress regularly
  • Updates the current progress to other co-workers who are involved in the project every once in a while to make them feel engaged and motivated
  • Utilizes the talent of other designers or any other co-workers to find out what is needed, answer questions and share them with the team
  • Becomes a primary point of contact for certain projects

Smart leader

  • A designer that can successfully lead the project and shape the overall parts of the product
  • Can clearly articulate the why’s in the feedback given to other people
  • Efficiently utilizes other people’s time to meet the goal (deadline) while not leaving anyone behind or less motivated
  • Able to motivate other junior designers on each of their parts
  • Figure out a way for the team to work and communicate more efficiently
  • Organizes events and fun activities to bring the team together

Painter of a bigger picture

  • When designing for a solution, thinks about the company-wide mission, future plans on the current product and how to work side-by-side with other teams that are related
  • Always be ready to talk about other suggestions/ideas that will be made by other teammates and convince them about the current design
  • Strategically, with good intentions, find out ways to talk about the impact made during the quarter/half/year and convince the co-workers or managers about the hard work
  • Constantly designs life’s journey — desired team/company to work for in the future, actively interview at other companies, update portfolio/resume or even plan out personal life

Reliable co-worker

  • A person that people can confidently suggest being a candidate for the new proposed project
  • A designer with high-end skills and thoughtful ideas that engineers, PMs, researchers or any other co-workers can feel motivated to solve problems together
  • Without a doubt, is able to convince teammates with clear reasons
  • Has a good reputation within the team and the company
  • Has more friends than enemies inside the company
  • Someone that people from another team or company would die to hire

Community organizer

  • Willing to give back to the design community by being a mentor to students or talk about personal experiences or provide tips by being a panel, speaker or lecturer
  • Constantly makes efforts on improving the design culture at the company
  • Loves to help out new designers being on-boarded successfully with happiness
  • Runs design meet-ups, conferences or teach & learn sessions inside or outside of the company
  • Manages other designers at the company to help them on their work and most importantly, enjoy working

True mentor

  • Inspires other aspiring, junior designers who are always seeking guidance, tips and information with regards to skill sets, job interviews etc
  • Spares time talking to other designers who reach out with interesting questions without turning them away or ignoring their emails and messages
  • Doesn’t give out false/misleading information just to save face
  • Doesn’t look down on other designers in any circumstances
  • Always tries to tell the truth, share honest thoughts and learn
  • Helps out other designers inside/outside the company or other teammates who are struggling with either technical skills or personal problems

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Designer’s Self-Checklist: what kind of designer are you or want to become? was originally published in UX Planet on Medium, where people are continuing the conversation by highlighting and responding to this story.

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