We all have the power to design because we are all equipped with amazing brains that let us process the world around us.
There are really only two things that separate non-designers from designers:
The amount of time they’ve spent honing design skills.
The believe in their design abilities.
That’s it. And that tells us something really important. Like really, really important. That tells us that we all have the ability to think like a designer.
Always look for problems that can be solved. Big problems. Little problems. Communal problems. Personal problems. If there’s a problem, you have the ability to design a solution.
Once a problem has been identified, figure out why it's a problem. You need the why to design a viable solution. If it’s a personal problem - you’re house is too small - figure out why you think it’s too small. If the neighborhood has a litter problem talk to neighbors and figure out what’s going on. It might be disrespectful neighbors but it might also be a lousy trash service that leaves a trail of garbage behind. Get to the why - that’s the real problem.
When you know the why, brainstorm solutions that address it. Stay focused on solving that one problem. Know that any one problem has hundreds of possible solutions, so go for quantity. Some solutions will ultimately work better than others, but there’s rarely ever one single right solution to a problem.
Try out some of the ideas to see what works and what needs more work. Experiment. And use any failure as the starting point for coming up with better solutions.
That’s it. That’s the whole process. And it can be implement against any problem. Hate your commute? Design a better one. Feel uninspired at your job? Design a better one. Feel alone in your community? Design better relationships.
At their core designers are problem solvers.
Every project begins with a very specific need to address. Once you know that, it just takes practice. The more you practice, the more confident you’ll be designing your life.
We can all do this, we just need to learn how.