State of Design – Results 3: Inspiration, loves, and the not-so-fun!


For many, design is like a calling – an innate ability honed by years of training and craftsmanship. But in every field, there is both good and bad. We asked you about the upsides and downsides – and, not least, about all the places where you find inspiration.

What do you love about your job?

Not surprisingly, manifesting something new by fx creating, working creatively, and solving problems is why designers love what they do. It is, however, interesting that the “loves” are so anchored in the individual and are so dominant in a field cherishing user perspectives and utopian ideals. Community-oriented words like “collaboration”, “helping”, and “people” are mentioned but not to a huge extent.

What is less fun?

Less fun is the exact opposite image of the freedom and exploration of creativity. It is about boxes and columns, bottom lines and making things fit. Not something a designer wants to be bothered with.

We also asked what it takes to be a good designer, and interestingly enough, here we find a lot of values that are not connected to the ego. The designer’s love is expressing individuality, but it seems the foundation for that expression is in something other than oneself.

What makes a good designer

But designers also need to learn new things and be inspired!

How do you learn new things?

It is a sad testament to the state of continued education” in the design field that most learning is through projects or blogs. Online 6 % do old-school off-line training!

Not surprisingly, given the graph, Medium and other easily accessible online platforms top the list of interesting learning sites. Congratulations to Kristina May and “Design kan” for the runner-up spot. Impressive!

Which book, blog, podcast or the like do you find interesting?

Turning to conferences, Design Matters has a considerable place in the heart of many designers, with SXSW as a close second. Many voiced that they liked international conferences, with a mixture of talks and hands-on events. Then again, some wanted conferences from other fields of design because designers are often “narcissistic”, “full of themselves”, and with “big egos”. We’ll let that stand without comments.

Design conferences

Finally, we looked at the significant trends in the design community. AI to rule it all. Putting everything related to sustainability together, it comes in as a not-too-distant second. But other than these two trends, the rest appeared as almost indiscernible things far away in the distance. We are not done talking about AI anytime soon. Could we use it to talk about the climate crisis, please?

Important trends

That is all for now. We will be back with the next installment soon!

Read State of design – Results part 1
Read State of design – Results part 2