Why are there so many disgruntled designers here?

It seems to me that a lot of people here aren’t really happy so they poke and jab at others who have different opinions on various posts. It appears that the trust level among us is way too low. If we are all supposed to be effective communicators of our ideas and concepts, why do we disagree so much? More importantly, why do we all take criticism personally or feel obligated to prove the purpose of our existance to everyone else when we don’t agree?

I hope this isn’t opening a flame session, but I am actually really curious what we can do to be more colaborative instead of combative.

Most people on these boards are students or recent grads who suck and can’t figure out why they can’t find a job. Then they critique other students and have nothing inteligent to say.

I would agree that there are a lot of students here who are having trouble getting jobs, there is a lot of confusion and anger about what makes someone a “real” designer and what people really need to do to get noticed.

I’ve talked to a lot of students and recent grads lately who are looking to get a job in my office and I get the impression that they think working in a design office is some kind of utopian dream. They want to get paid huge salaries to sketch and solve problems all day but when they come here they have to do all of my and my bosses crap work. I’m not sure why but the idea of working your way up the ladder seems to be completely foreign to a lot of new grads. They just want to start at the top and ignore the people around them with 5, 10, or 20+ years of experience.

I’ve voiced my opinion about the industry on several occasions along with the reasons why I am currently making my way out of doing design. I think the industry is in need of a serious reality check on a lot of different fronts.

I would like to think that there are some people on here who genuinely want to help and in between all of the fighting and BS there are actually some good comments, you just have to look harder for them sometimes. I’ve thrown out a few comments before that were meant to get a reaction out of people but for the most part I’ve always tried to give good advice and references when I had some knowledge on the topic. I’ve found others like Yo and yourself to have good comments as well.

What it really comes down to is the fact that people need to learn how to help themselves. All the advice in the world doesn’t mean a thing if you don’t do anything with it. People often want the easy pain-free solution to all of their problems but I’ve found that most things in life call for a pretty good amount of pain, suffering, and heartache before you really get where you want to be - especially when you are heading into unknown territory.

that’s sad mmjohns, you wanting to get out of design because of other peoples attitudes. May I ask what you are trying to get into ? and in what way do peoples attitudes offend you enough to make you want to leave a profession I assume assume you tried very hard to get into ?

Unfortunately the ability to log on with out registering, while it seems to help keep the number of posts up, lowers the quality of the discussion. People often use these discussion boards as some type of anger release valve, when they are unhappy. I have seen this happen at other discussion boards but not to the same degree.

I think one problem is that in school, design is treated almost like a religion. In general design schools have highly intelligent but emotionally immature people (I admit that I was). Maybe those are points needed for the creativity that we require. This religious fevor is met smack in the face by the non-academic world when most people ask things like “so what is it you do and why should I pay so much for this?” and "don’t you just draw pretty pictures?'. These people just want to put dollars and cents to what we do and this is the nature of the business world. We have to work in this world so we have to get used to it.

Also because of the previously mentioned immaturity many design graduates are looking for the praise of others to build their own self confidence (again, I fell into this catagory). Sooner or later they will hopefully figure out that your self confidence has to built from within.

I am currently getting out of design to pursue an MBA so that I can take on more of a leadership role within a company. I realized a while back that unless you are with a major organization that really respects designers and has designers on their board of directors, the chances of a designer moving up into a critical position are very small. Although I love sketching and modeling, I would much rather use my creative and problem solving skills on a strategic level where it is easier to understand the financial aspects of a companies business model and how design fits into it.

When I say that I am making my way out of doing design, I mean it more in terms of getting out of the “cadmonkey” role or whatever people want to call it. I still beleive in the power of design to make sweeping changes in the operation of a company and then on to peoples lives in the form of a well crafted product.

I think that the reality check I speak of for the design industry has a lot to do with this. While there are some companies like Apple, Samsung, and others that have really embraced design and believe in its power to “break through the clutter” as advertising agencies would say, there are a lot of other companies that see it as another gimic that they can use to push more crap that people and the markets really don’t need. This puts designers in a really bad position because they are seen as just another tool in the assembly line instead of a strategic partner. Because of this designers, who I think are some of the most creative and well rounded workers in the world, will never get the respect that they deserve. There are still a lot of people who don’t know what an Industrial Designer is, considering all the press that design has been getting (business week, newsweeks, etc) I think this is really unfortunate and a sign that IDSA and other are not doing their job. So instead of whining about it I plan to try and do something.

mmjerkoff NEVEr keeps to the topic at hand… goes off on 5 paragraph disertations about blank tangents.

anyway, the reason there is so much hair trigger harsh bitterness here is because we are designers. our success and chest puffing ballsiness is determined largely by personal and genetic talent. we size each other up by nature in this profession. its the first thing that happens. its ALL about personal opinions. its the job of wearing a creative hat and your success is determined by your ability to differentiate your “unique” pov from the norm and the typical. you fight tooth and nail in this field to communicate your vision and more so to convince others to actualize it. i hate you by nature.

Look at the above. A case in point.

I’m responding to a question from loafer, not going off on tangents.

and it was 3 paragraphs not 5.

I visit this site (infrequently) to see if there are any worthwhile discussions taking place. I am not an ID, and have no desire to be, but I get involved with design projects from time-to-time.

To rodanx86’s point, it seems as though most individuals who make responses on this ID site are synical and abrasive. I posted my own question several weeks ago, and received about 10 responses. Almost every response was synical and combative. There was only one response that attempted to take my question seriously. It’s really shameful - it’s not a good reflection of the ID profession.

If the majority of the content on this site is people bashing, why have this site in the first place? There are countless chat rooms where you can cabash any number of people all day long.

On another note, and regardless of profession, you need to like what you do. If you don’t, or you eventually come to dislike your profession, you need to get your ass in gear and find something else. If you won’t change your path, then you need to figure out a way to find the good things with what you’re doing. Otherwise you’ll go absolutely nuts. From the responses I’ve seen on this site, many individuals in the ID profession ought to consider getting the heck out.

just to play devils advocate. I think part of being a good designer is not liking the way things are. If a designer loves everything, and the world is happy, happy, joy, joy, why would he or she change anything?

Of course we see this go too far on many occasions, in this very thread even, but I think I’m going to play the “if your not a designer you might have trouble understanding” card.

and why does this site exist? well you keep coming back right? it must have a draw.

I think this site exists because on some leve we are interested in collaborating to either 1) become better designers ourselves and 2) Promote the design community or philosophy.

Some of the posts I’ve seen the most responces on are open ended questions like “What is Industrial Design?” and so forth. We all have an urge to try to articulate what we think design is. I think thats a good thing. Unfortunately, people lose site of these two goals.

In order for companies to embrace ID, or society for that matter, Places like this should be the paragon of good design descussion, not a shady designers only club.

The tutorials here are excellent. The rumor mills are entertaining. The descussion are sometimes really good. (some poignant things were said in the “leaving industrial design” thread, for example).

So, what can be done to promote good discussion here?

Recruiting your friends to join in so that the quality level goes up! More signal, less noise.


Actually most of what you described is more a neanderthalic male perspective than one made by a designer with any kind of intelligence, re-read what you wrote, it’s frothing with male ego, ok i’ll be more giving, “creative” male ego.

Ego is a major factor why many designers disagree with each other, this is not constructive. It is constructive when designers disagree with each other while at the same time working together to solve an issue that requires you to look at the same problem from many different angles. I find that when I disagree with another designer or another designer disagrees with me it inspires me to look for more answers, not become adamant with my idea because i’m afraid that I might not be able to come up with another one for a while, or that my male pride might get damaged, how lame is that?

you fight tooth and nail in this field to communicate your vision and more so to convince others to actualize it. i hate you by nature.

If you have to fight tooth and nail in this field to communicate your vision and convice others to “actualize” it, then A. you suck at communicating your visions, B. Your visions might suck, C. You just might not have “personal genetic talent”.

Aside from that, fighting tooth and nail for something that YOU want makes you look like a whiny ass, doing it because you believe in what’s best for your organization/studio is always good business, if it makes you look good in the process, then icing on the cake, check yourself.

I agree whole heartedly that disagreement, and need, fuel creativity. But much of what’s written on this site goes far beyond mere disagreement. Just because I disagree with you does not give me the right to insult you or use profanity - which are the responses I received on my question some weeks back.

I fully understand that an individual’s personality plays a huge role in their creativity. And often times creative types are very emotional. In the 14 years since receiving my BS I’ve been with two medium-large companies working in Mfg & R&D functions. The one thing that I learned darn quick, is that projects and designs are developed by consensus and customer feedback. Individuals that do not appear to be team players, because it’s there way or the highway, will usually wash out of an organization. I’ve seen it many time. It does not matter if you, individually, have, what you feel, is a super-duper idea, if the customer does not buy it, it’s a worthless idea.

One of my managers told me that ideas are like ass-holes, everyone has them. A good idea is one that sells.

If you really need to have things your own way, you need to be your own boss, and open your own company. But guess what - you still have to please the customer. If you don’t have the gumption to go it alone, and are not independently wealthy (I fall into this category) then tact and diplomacy are requirements to make it in any organization.


an inferiority complex is probably the reason for many of the spiteful comments here. easier to pull people down than to rise to their level.

How ironic that designers would claim to be the ones that lift and inspire people through their good design.

i didnt say the spite was coming from designers. maybe. maybe not.

so u just lookin for ppl to agree wit your pt of view or at least be appreciative of it? c’mon ppl…