“What’s the right tool for this job?”

In the world of design, there’s always some sort of discussion going on about what tool you should be using, testing or transitioning to; it’s a big fuss if you’re one of these “early adopters” you’re misplacing your attention.

It’s the difference between masters and mentees.

The master knows their skill and tools; they stick with them and continuously improve. A mentee is still learning, a young padawan in the world trying to find their way. Once they find that path, they stay true to it and eventually adapt it to become their long term journey, influenced by the masters’ guidance, or so the story goes. However, masters aren’t that common now, and it’s primarily because of the emerging trend of early adoption. People are changing their tools, so often they rarely become masters. They fuss over where to post something and what app to create in, instead of just getting to the actual creation; then complain when the results they hoped for done come to pass.

The adage of:

“A poor workman blames his tools.”

Really does ring true in this case.

My suggestion? Pick a direction and relentlessly pursue it, if you like it and it works for you and your customers, stick with it for as long as you can. There will always be ways to expand and iterate your process, but by starting and staying the course, you gain more and more knowledge and skill — eventually gaining the mastery you need.

Too many value mastery too little; practising a tool for months only to switch to a new flavour when it releases into beta. I myself have made this mistake before, partially switching to Sketch too early, leading to me swapping back and forth between that and Photoshop and becoming a master of none for a long while. I almost made the same mistake again recently, seeing the rise of apps like XD and Figma and considering the move; in spite of knowing that I’m fast and effective in Sketch and can get my thoughts across most effectively. For me, being slowed down for the sake of a new products’ innovation and growth just isn’t in my best interests when it comes to being able to get shit done.

My advice? Don’t fall into the early adopter trap unless you’re really passionate about the innovation being made.

When it comes to your craft, “Maybe it will do that soon”, simply isn’t good enough.

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