Perfect is a process.
You’ll never get it perfect the first time, or ever. And that’s fine, as long as you trail perfection with undying determination. But realistically you have to ship, so there is a fine balance deciding where is close enough…for this release.
Fail and break things.
Experimentation is essential to progress. This as an extension of learning, but it means going beyond and trying something new that there isn’t yet an instructional blog post telling you every step.
Design is inclusive.
Everyone has opinions about design and instead of disregarding these they should be welcomed. Great insights arrive through actively listening and including others with different perspectives in your design process.
Be the tool.
Sketch vs Photoshop, etc., etc. That’s great that you are critically thinking about workflow, but at the end of the day, show me your thoughts and solutions. The only tool for that is you.
Deservedly so, ‘Sweat the details’ is an oft-repeated phrase. But, just as important is learning the details so you can sweat them.
Design can be an amazing tool for human efficiency. However, striving for efficiency in design obfuscates your message and removes valuable affordances. Just say it. Be explicit so they understand and can move on.
Learn how it’s built.
If you’re going to design for a platform you need to understand everything about that platform, including some details about how it works under the hood. Nobody needs to admire your code, but you shouldn’t be confused when the conversation turns to git.
Figure it out.
Not knowing how to do something is normal, especially in a startup trying to do a bunch of new things with a small team and limited resources. Not knowing how is not an excuse for not doing it—figure it out.
Watch the type.
Sloppy typography will shred your design with swift irreverence. Do it right or it will do you.
Design follows business.
Not to dismiss beauty for beauty’s sake, but product design cannot exist in a vacuum. Supporting business priorities gives design a direction, as well as a reference for evaluating success. Successful design often is beautiful, and not because it is successful.