A design toolbox is something that every designer has. Just like a construction worker building a house, a designer needs a toolbox to build digital products. Luckily, we don’t have to haul our “tools” to work every day. A design toolbox can include things like empathy, visual design, and technological capability. Having empathy is an important skill as a designer because at the end of the day you’re designing something to make someone’s life better. In order to do this, you have to empathize with the people you’re building for.
You can practice these skills and build your toolbox by writing, listening to podcasts, reading books, and learning to code.
Podcasts: High Resolution Podcast is a must when building critical design thinking skills. Design Details is another favorite of mine for finding who to follow in the industry.
Books: The Design of Everyday Things, Don’t Make Me Think, Hooked, Sprint, and any psychology book you can get your hands on. Don’t be afraid to start digging deeper into certain areas of design that interest you.
Visual Design: The best way to develop your creative eye is by admiring the design of things around you. Go to the museum, watch movies, observe fashion. Read books on typography, color theory, and spacing. When you’re ready to create, download a design tool and watch some tutorials. My personal favorite is Sketch, but if you’re a student I recommend checking out Figma. It’s free for all college students!