Ask the Experts: What skills do you think will be needed by future designers?

3 years ago by

Written by Hollie Arnett
Supported by 
Creative New Zealand

There are so many talented creatives with years of combined experience and a variety of skills in the design industry. Since there are no right or wrong answers and no one true source when it comes to design advice, Hollie Arnett brings you Ask the Experts – a series of articles bringing you a range of answers to your burning questions about design from a whole bunch of these designers!

In this edition, we’re asking, what skills do you think will be needed by future designers?

Johnson Mckay

Critical thinking, cultural awareness, social media and digital understanding

Katie Kerr

Like always, but possibly more than ever, designers will need the ability to critique their work against the social and political environment. Designers are enablers of communication, and with that comes a responsibility that many of us tend to ignore. Being able to analyse your practice ­– both its input and output – and truly understand its value within the current context is a daunting exercise for some practitioners – but it is essential if we plan on progression.

Phyo Thu

Innovative thinking, problem solving and communication.

Philip Fierlinger

Fundamental skills will be the same: empathy, imagination, experimentation, information hierarchy and typography, simplicity and usability, craftsmanship – attention to detail, passion for the process.

Design tools will change but the skills will be the same.

Sarah Ritchie

The design/studio/agency world is changing – rapidly. Clients are demanding a higher level of business understanding from their suppliers, and those who can step up will get the work. Designers of the future will need to be far more business-savvy than they are now, which starts with the ability to ask insightful questions to get the root of their client’s business or marketing problem.

Janelle Rodrigues

Listening, really listening – then feeling, to find the right expression. Enjoy the ride.

Joe Garlick

Designing information for Augmented Reality and ‘designing’ emotions and personality for AI.

Nicole Arnett Phillips

Curiosity & Flexibility… design evolves incredibly quickly as does the platforms and tools we use to produce. I think being keen to adapt, ask questions, learn and advance will be critical! I also believe bravery is key to innovation, so if you have a desire to lead in our industry building creative confidence, taking risks and learning from your failures are hugely important.

Dan Newman

Empathy, Typography, Writing, Prototyping.

Jade Tang-Taylor

Empathy & Entrepreneurialism
Collaboration & Communication
Big Picture & Business Nous


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