A majority of my writing centered around soft skills, or as I like to call them, real-life skills. I’ve found this to be my writing niche in the design world. It’s not to say they’re the only skills you need as a designer, hard skills matter too, but I stand by them as the essential skills you must work on if you want to succeed as a designer or design leader.
You get to design the experience others have of you, make it a good one.
Active listening, communication, collaboration, dealing with ambiguity, teamwork, reading body language, rallying others around company/customer goals, decision-making, creativity, curiosity, problem-solving, and emotional intelligence are just a few key skills you should be working on.
Jenifer Lambert, Chief Strategy Officer at TERRA Staffing Group, stresses the importance of soft skills in her 2021 article, “Top Soft Skills for 2021”. In it, she states:
“There is scientific research that shows companies that focus their hiring criteria on soft skills will end up with higher levels of production over those that emphasize only hard skills in their hiring practices.”
We love seeing beautiful UI interfaces, fancy animations, and lists of design tips, but soft skills are what will set you apart in the industry. They are what amplify you as a designer, not your Figma skills. So, expect a lot more from me in the coming year on this topic!