Our industry needs more designers. Most importantly: a different type of designer. THE PROGRESS we have seen in the last decade in terms of making our discipline more accessible to up and coming designers is undeniable. Really great. Still, quite slow. Digital product design remains an elitist discipline: hard to break in, overshadowed by unnecessary jargon, lacking organizations that genuinely represent all of its professionals’ best interests, and not as diverse as we all have dreamed it to become. At the end of the day, if design is not actively working to dismantle established exclusionary systems, it is simply perpetuating them. And that goes to how much we include or exclude people from our industry. When you don’t lower the barrier to entering the design industry, only a really specific type of designer with a really specific type of background is able to get in. Courses and bootcamps present a similar challenge. It’s not that there aren’t great classes out there — but those classes can be cost-prohibitive for a lot of people. Especially people who are still in the early stages of starting a career in design, in which case signing up for one of those courses can be a risky move. WE OFTEN receive messages from our readers asking for tips on how to take their first steps into the world of digital product design. What should they be studying? What should they be reading? We noticed a pattern, though. When we reply to those messages giving people advice, there are usually a handful of articles, links, and pieces that we keep going back to. Articles that resist the test of time, that continue to be relevant several years after being published. Documentaries that will help designers look at our industry through a more critical lens. For those reasons, we decided to put together this guide. We want this guide to serve as a reminder that when it comes to design, there’s no such thing as ultimate guides, magic formulas, or UX unicorns. There’s a lot of discipline and hard work, that’s what there is. There won’t be a design job waiting for the reader at the end of the guide, and it is not a replacement for traditional education. The Guide To Design (for short) will give people a glimpse into what digital design work is really like, so they can decide if a career in UX might be right for them.