My Design Tool is Better Than Yours (and other stupid things designers say)

Designers love to argue about design tools.

Some like to treat it as their religion, as if their design tools are the only thing that gives them meaning. Perhaps it’s classic tribal behavior, similar to the Apple vs. Microsoft debate, a way to be part of a group. Only in this case, it’s paralyzing our craft.

The reason I’m writing this isn’t to join the debate, but to help newcomers enjoy a smoother start in our walled-in design community. We’re making it harder for new designers to enter by artificially complicating our own practice.

Zooming out, trying to see all this as an outsider, the design community is a big, confusing cluster fuck.

It is rather simple: The tools you use don’t matter as long as you are able to complete your work. The only exception is when working with a team. Only then does your choice of tools matter, as they guarantee harmony and efficiency within your team. (This may also apply in a larger sense. If one tool has market dominance, it may be beneficial for you to know it, even if you prefer others for personal use).

Every tool comes with its own upsides and downsides, but most of them are increasingly the same. They mostly differ in workflow. But I can promise you, they all draw rectangles equally as well.

If you work on your own, pick the tool that works best for YOU. If you work in a team, pick the tool that works best for the team, and every team is different.

Most importantly: Don’t let your productivity, dreams or aspirations as a designer get influenced by the software you use. They’re only a tiny part of your job.

Use your tools, but don’t let your tools use you.

Thank you for reading!

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Want to learn more about me? I’m Tobias is a Designer & Maker + Co-Founder of Semplice, a portfolio platform for designers. Also host of the show NTMY — Previously Art Director & Design Lead at Spotify.

Self-taught Designer & Maker. Un-Employed. Founder of Formerly Spotify — More About me:

Self-taught Designer & Maker. Un-Employed. Founder of Formerly Spotify — More About me: