If you create things, you're a designer

Whether your output is a new mobile app, a new banking service or a PDF report for key stakeholders, you’re a Designer.

A human being is going to “consume” what you have created. Is it easy to use? Easy to understand? Does it solve a real problem for your customer*?

Good Designers don’t assume what customers* need (e.g. features for a product or information for a report) and then deliver the final version based on these assumptions.

(Inevitably, this leads to features that no-one wants or information that is difficult to understand and not quite what our customer* needs.)

Good Designers meet people, ask them questions and even run workshops with key stakeholders to learn about their needs and validate ideas.

We need to stop Designing FOR people and start Designing WITH them.

It’s not hard.

We just need to stop being arrogant and start assuming that hey, actually, we don’t know what our customers need.

We have to invest energy in finding out how we might help them by Designing something that makes sense for them given their particular context (a good start: who are they? what do they know what do they expect? how will they use/read it?).

TL;DR: just because your PDF report has all of the information in it, doesn’t mean it’s well-designed.
*customer = users, employees, investors, governors, stakeholders, bosses, teams, clients, partners…

Phil Smithson