Jan 11, 2024

The curse of knowledge for designers

Creator of Dive

Owner + Educator, UX Tools

We talk a lot about the perils of "designing for other designers"

But what does it look like to NOT do that? Most of the answers I see relate to not over-investing in meaningless details.

But that's just one part…

Designers are the only ones with the 10,000' view necessary to spot design trends that span industry verticals. This is the curse of knowledge. We see a (beautiful) design like this on Twitter and we're quick to point out "oh that's just another Linear clone."

Image

But...

If you're designing a marketing site for a new supply-chain management SaaS...

Then there's a good chance you're positioning against an incumbent whose hero section looks like this πŸ‘‡

Image

I think it's safe to say Linear's visual style will feel pretty fresh to everyone whose opinion actually matters in supply-chain management 😬

So not "designing for designers" should also shape how we think about novelty.

So what does it look like to avoid "designing for designers"?

Most of the answers I see relate to not over-investing in meaningless details when they don't move the needle in your industry.

And that's true!

But this lesson should also shape how we think about novelty πŸ€”

πŸ‘‰ Because novelty is scoped by industry.

Image

There's a good chance that what was new in a tech-adjacent industry will also be new in supply-chain management. And if a pattern/trend is taking off, that's probably a pretty good signal that something is working (and worth dissecting)!

So don't forget designers are the only ones with the 10,000' view (and at the end of the day, unless you're selling to designers... we don't matter). Don't ignore free data about what's working to satisfy your personal desire for novelty.

Been thinking about this a lot after listening to Tommy Geoco talk about the "curse of knowledge" Tons of excellent ideas in here.

If you want to play outside of the confines of your 9-5 role then this is the episode for you.

Listen on YouTube, Spotify, iTunes, or wherever you get your podcasts πŸ‘‡

We talk a lot about the perils of "designing for other designers"

But what does it look like to NOT do that? Most of the answers I see relate to not over-investing in meaningless details.

But that's just one part…

Designers are the only ones with the 10,000' view necessary to spot design trends that span industry verticals. This is the curse of knowledge. We see a (beautiful) design like this on Twitter and we're quick to point out "oh that's just another Linear clone."

Image

But...

If you're designing a marketing site for a new supply-chain management SaaS...

Then there's a good chance you're positioning against an incumbent whose hero section looks like this πŸ‘‡

Image

I think it's safe to say Linear's visual style will feel pretty fresh to everyone whose opinion actually matters in supply-chain management 😬

So not "designing for designers" should also shape how we think about novelty.

So what does it look like to avoid "designing for designers"?

Most of the answers I see relate to not over-investing in meaningless details when they don't move the needle in your industry.

And that's true!

But this lesson should also shape how we think about novelty πŸ€”

πŸ‘‰ Because novelty is scoped by industry.

Image

There's a good chance that what was new in a tech-adjacent industry will also be new in supply-chain management. And if a pattern/trend is taking off, that's probably a pretty good signal that something is working (and worth dissecting)!

So don't forget designers are the only ones with the 10,000' view (and at the end of the day, unless you're selling to designers... we don't matter). Don't ignore free data about what's working to satisfy your personal desire for novelty.

Been thinking about this a lot after listening to Tommy Geoco talk about the "curse of knowledge" Tons of excellent ideas in here.

If you want to play outside of the confines of your 9-5 role then this is the episode for you.

Listen on YouTube, Spotify, iTunes, or wherever you get your podcasts πŸ‘‡

We talk a lot about the perils of "designing for other designers"

But what does it look like to NOT do that? Most of the answers I see relate to not over-investing in meaningless details.

But that's just one part…

Designers are the only ones with the 10,000' view necessary to spot design trends that span industry verticals. This is the curse of knowledge. We see a (beautiful) design like this on Twitter and we're quick to point out "oh that's just another Linear clone."

Image

But...

If you're designing a marketing site for a new supply-chain management SaaS...

Then there's a good chance you're positioning against an incumbent whose hero section looks like this πŸ‘‡

Image

I think it's safe to say Linear's visual style will feel pretty fresh to everyone whose opinion actually matters in supply-chain management 😬

So not "designing for designers" should also shape how we think about novelty.

So what does it look like to avoid "designing for designers"?

Most of the answers I see relate to not over-investing in meaningless details when they don't move the needle in your industry.

And that's true!

But this lesson should also shape how we think about novelty πŸ€”

πŸ‘‰ Because novelty is scoped by industry.

Image

There's a good chance that what was new in a tech-adjacent industry will also be new in supply-chain management. And if a pattern/trend is taking off, that's probably a pretty good signal that something is working (and worth dissecting)!

So don't forget designers are the only ones with the 10,000' view (and at the end of the day, unless you're selling to designers... we don't matter). Don't ignore free data about what's working to satisfy your personal desire for novelty.

Been thinking about this a lot after listening to Tommy Geoco talk about the "curse of knowledge" Tons of excellent ideas in here.

If you want to play outside of the confines of your 9-5 role then this is the episode for you.

Listen on YouTube, Spotify, iTunes, or wherever you get your podcasts πŸ‘‡

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Get our weekly breakdowns

"There's no doubt that Dive has made me a better designer"

@ned_ray

Join 10,000+ designers

Get our weekly breakdowns

"There's no doubt that Dive has made me a better designer"

@ned_ray

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"

I've been binging Dive Club lately and the quality is nuts

Literally the only show about design I watch”

Eugene Fedorenko

hello@dive.club

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