The Future of Design in Nigeria

By Simeon Fadahunsi, UX Designer

I am always happy knowing I am a designer in Nigeria at this moment until a client negotiates a price lower than my minimum then I start getting angry and sometimes I rant about it, lol.

Then the cycle repeats itself, a crazy world.

Let me explain more.

So, I like to say technology arguably got into Nigeria less than 15 years ago. In fact, many of the startups and technology-driven companies that we are loving currently didn’t exist before this 15 years mark.

The difference is that within the last 10 to 15 years, so many people have taken up the challenge to solve several problems for us from payment to agriculture, even down to community building and relationships.

Yes, there are many problems worth solving in Nigeria and that is a good thing because it presents an opportunity for designers who have positioned themselves as problem solvers to thrive because we know design happens before the pixels.

Here’s another thought of mine.

I believe the next 5 years will greatly define the design/creative industry in Nigeria. Why 5?

5 years for me is enough to go from novice to pro and then with the increase in problem solvers, we would have more startups and that would be more problem solving and that would later translate into creating more innovative solutions and then more designers in jobs, then finally impact.

Yes, I know it’s a rabbit hole that can be ruined by government policies and several situations but I will be happy dancing in this hole for now.

Also, look at the current companies you use their apps that were founded in Nigeria, most weren’t existing 15 years ago but it wasn’t as if the problems weren’t there. E-commerce can arguably be one of the earliest tech innovations and the 2 current giants came up in 2012. lol

The future of Design in Nigeria
Photo by Eirik Solheim 

When I used an android phone for the first time in 2013, hell I didn’t even know Nigerians could do something like that (excuse my young mind), now we are pushing problem-solvers around the world faster than our debt profile can increase.

A possibility means it can happen, not happen and even happen better.

But before then, what can you do as a designer (new or experienced)? You can decide to get ready by:

  • Improve in what you do and know
  • Continue to show that you “sabi this work”
  • Create more meaningful relationships and maintain existing ones
  • Solve more problems with design(small and big). 
  • SHOW YOUR WORK
  • Be consistent.

Or you can actually take the bulls by the horn and start solving a problem from the start. 

God knows the world needs more designers leading companies.

If you think I am far-fetched, try to remember what you were like 5years ago and where you are now, then try to write down what made you progress and why those opportunities you had came along, then repeat.

Yeeeaaaah, It’s a long road but we are already on the road. 

Let me go and finish my portfolio, let my “advice no waste”.

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