Unpopular opinion coming up. But bear with me, it isn't all bad.
Designers aren't saving the world.
If, like me, you spend hours reading and digesting content on the state of "design", you'll have noticed a growing number of designers who think that what they do is important.
Sure, there are designers out there who are working on the user interface of a technology which is literally saving lives. But for the rest of us that's just not the case. Most of us are working to a brief, or working for/with a client and working to their needs. A lot of us are just trying to do "good" work in the face of tight deadlines and low budgets. Others spend hours agonising over the layout of a form on a social media platform.
There is nothing wrong with any of those. But what really irks me is the notion of a designer as some sort of visionary problem solver.
Almost everyone I know is a "problem solver". My wife isn't a designer, but she has to solve significantly more complex problems than where to place a button, on a daily basis. Our office manager isn't a designer, but she has solve problems of scheduling, recruiting and complaints. Bill, our head of content, isn't a designer, but regularly needs to solve the problem of turning a list of high-level bullet points into compelling prose. You catch my drift.
As a designer, you have no more responsibility to your job than a teacher has to their students, or that builders have to their brickwork.
Make no mistake, what you do has value. "Design" as a principle has importance, and can have the most tangible effect on the success of a product, or a website, or whatever. But it is part of a larger process, another cog in the machine.
Do good work. But stop with this navel gazing attitude. It doesn't do anyone any good.