Impact of Social Media on Educating East African Designers

  • Amreen W. Nazir University of Nairobi
  • Samuel M. Maina University of Nairobi
Keywords: Marketing, Design Thinking, Social media, Designers


For centuries, there has been a cynical view of Africa. There has always been the perception that Africa is a highly underdeveloped continent. Now that we have the tools in our hands, we can tell our stories ourselves, without the existence of a foreign and misinformed narrative. Prior to the digital age, design was not as relevant as it is now. With the growth of social media in Eastern Africa, the current young generation must keep in touch with trends and expectations of a brand on social media. It is a path that currently stays evolving and a designer needs to be conscious of these changes to excel. Problem: Students in design school are often taught about the creative and aesthetic part of design, but rarely how to sell it. After leaving campus, very few young designers are equipped with necessary skills on how to market and sell their product or service. Communication with clients and brand visibility is just as important as the design itself but it is not an aspect that is adequately taught in design school. No matter how good a design is, if it is not visible to the seller, it will miss out on the opportunity to sell. Objective: The main research objective was to identify different forms of media expression on social media and what young designers can learn from them. Design: Using qualitative research, the study applies the case study design research method. Setting: The study was carried out from observation on East African social media. Subjects: The subjects of this study were young adult designers on social media. Results: The results prove that social media is indeed a helpful tool in educating designers and improving their skill set. As the social media age grows, so will the educational aspect on designers. To understand the learning curves that can be picked to educate designers, it is important to identify and observe exemplars that have been successful in that sector. Conclusion: The study concluded that exposure to social media positively impacts designers. Adaptation to design on social media platforms will only develop a designer and encourage them to grow whilst taking others as their role models and learning from them. It will further develop design, innovative design, and marketing and communicating skills. Keywords: Social media, East Africa, Designers, Marketing, Growth, Design Thinking