3 design practices you can apply in your life (even if you are not a designer)

Bruno Rigolino on

When we take design as a mental model: a way of thinking, creating, and expressing ourselves, designing becomes a lifestyle.

All lifestyles have particular practices. Learning about different lifestyle practices can help us architect our routines and find different perspectives to look at daily situations.

Here are three Design practices you can apply in your life:

#1. Sketching. Effective sketching is like effective writing: specific and concrete. Sketching makes abstract ideas into tangible artifacts, making communication easier and collective iteration possible. When you need to express an idea, try to create diagrams, storyboards, or draw connected emoji-like symbols to help you communicate and get feedback.

#2. Reframing. The action to take a briefing (a given situation with pre-conceived requirements and solutions) and reevaluate it, questioning the root causes and the demands. The most common example is a client asking for a new [logo/app/feature…] when they need a better process or a different strategy. Reframing is changing or creating a fresh perspective to look at a given situation.

#3. Curating references. All designer I know has reference folders. Curating references is more than selecting and organizing artifacts. Curating is decision-making with critical thinking. You need to decide what qualifies as a reference for a project (or for you) and critically think about how those different references can bridge together.