"We are all designers," says Tom Peters. "Presentation of a financial report is as much a ‘design thing’ as is the creation of a sexy-looking product." Presentation design is worthy of our "extreme obsessive study," as Peters says, but so is design in general. If you're not a designer, you may feel that the personal study of design is superfluous. After all, design is for those artsy, creative types like that crazy guy on the web team down the hall whose cubicle is crammed with two hanging mountain bikes and a six-foot Buzz Lightyear doll draped in Christmas lights. Whoa.
But it's the little things that separate one product or service from another, and even one company from another for that matter. And design is one of those seemingly little things that is...well, huge. Design is one of those "small" details that separate the winners from the losers.
Raising your DQ (Design Quotient)
Even if we are not professional designers, it's in our in interest to become as educated about design as we can. It's in the interest of corporations, too, that employees become as design savvy as possible. Sadly, not all companies get that (yet?). But you get that, so forge ahead and educate yourself (and others as well) as you progress in your journey. You may not be a designer, but wouldn't it be great if you could add solid knowledge and understanding about design principles and concepts to your list of skills as you advance in your career? And to the real designers out there, wouldn't you love to live in a world where senior management completely "got design" at all levels of the company?
Design education: thousands of resources
So here's a great site called Design Education: thousands of resources (designeducation.ca). You absolutely must bookmark this site and revisit it from time to time (you can submit your recommended design-related sites at the bottom of the page). Professional designers and design students will find this site useful too. This site was started by Gustavo Machado and others. Hats off to them.
For now the site has a plethora of useful links (including some real gems) organized in various categories such as: Jobs, Advertising/Marketing, Photography, Typography, Web/Multimedia, Design blogs, and a ton of other great resources including many that are free (free photos, free fonts, free articles, etc.). Just a great site.