Respect your friends, and they will respect you back

The tools - Our best friends

Oana Dusa - Posted in Tools on June 15, 2016

A recruiter asked me a couple of days ago how proficient I am with the Adobe Suite or Sketch. It's not like I didn't expect the question, but in my mind the answer was an obvious 'they are my best friends' and we shouldn't even be talking if it wasn't so.

Soon after answering the question, I realized that there are so many tools out there, so many potential friends, that it's simply impossible to hang out with all of them. We all have many acquaintances, but not too many 'good' friends.

The tools we use on a daily basis are our best friends. We have to know and respect eachother. And by respect I mean mutual respect. Their responsibility is to suit the needs with ease and with the least time invested. Our responsibility is to be methodic, intentional, know it in its depths and use it at its full potential.

Be curious, be useful

It's very important for us to ride this new wave of design tools. But it's also important to search for reviews and invest as little time as possible in finding out whether the tool fits the needs or not. And, as much as possible, give feedback, start-ups should know whether they're on the right path or not.

They widen our perspective, maybe we'll have a nice talk about design trends, but at the end of the day we both walk away on separate paths.

Choose your friends carefully

Every other day we meet new people, but we don't befriend all of them, right? Some of them don't pursue the same dreams and don't share the same thinking or vision. They widen our perspective, maybe we'll have a nice talk about design trends, but at the end of the day we both walk away on separate paths.

Every other day we see new tools, but we don't use all of them everyday, right? Some of them don't suit perfectly the needs, are in beta version or resemble too much with other tools and don't bring too much value. It's understandable that they are in the MVP phase, but for now they don't help too much. But which one to choose?

I'm raising this problem because, a couple of months ago, I started working on a project using Marvel App. It looked simple, intuitive, exactly what I needed. I said I should give it a chance. In the middle of the project I realized that it has more bugs than features, that it had one fortunate bug that helped me duplicate screens. They repaired that bug and I realized one day that I simply have to recreate every single iteration. That sucked, big time! I wanted to unfriend him, but being in the middle of the project it would have taken too much time to recreate all the screens with another tool.

Respect is earned

I do understand that the intention is genuine. All these start-ups want to improve our lives and make a living out of it. But please, don't just copy something and make it worse. Come up with an improvement to what already exists. Don't be a copycat, not even in the MVP phase of your product.

We share a significant number of hours with these tools. We can't have too many 'good' friends, so choose carefully who you hang around with everyday.