Playbook is actionable career advice for designers.

  • Collection

    Design Management

    You’re passionate about building teams and helping people realize their...

    28 contributors
    View this collection
  • Collection

    New to Design

    Whether you’ve just discovered design or you’re early in your career, n...

    38 contributors
    View this collection

How do you show the value of investing in a design system?

1 contributor · 3 action items
  • Joshua Sortino

    Track how long it takes to onboard a designer.

    When new designers join, how long does it take for them to understand your design language? Show the value of a design system by explaining how much faster designers could be on boarded.

  • Joshua Sortino

    Similarly, determine how much time engineers spend asking designers for specs and clarification.

    Engineers will often need the exact measurements of elements in a design. When no design system exists, they will need to re-ask these measurements every time. Additionally, other questions may frequently be repeated without a source of trut... more

  • Joshua Sortino

    Calculate the amount of time designers spend creating elements from scratch and compare to how much time would be saved with a design system.

    Without a design system, designers must re-create every (or most) elements in their designs. This is time consuming. By showing the amount of time that could be saved with a design system, you are able to prove the value in terms of hours gi... more

When is the right time to transition an IC to manager?

1 contributor · 2 action items
  • Joshua Sortino

    Is the company or product growing?

    As a product scales so will the team. In this instance, transitioning from IC to manager might be needed to help the company continue to grow.

  • Joshua Sortino

    Are you already “managing” or influencing others without the title?

    Some of the strongest IC’s who have developed in-depth knowledge of the company they work at or the practice they work within often become the strongest influencers on others. In these cases, transitioning from IC to manager is very natural ... more

How do you put together a case study for a design project?

3 contributors · 16 action items
  • Brooke Bell

    Final prototype

    What was the final outcome? Show animated mocks, InVision prototypes, real-life designs and whatever else illustrates the final product.

  • Brooke Bell

    Learnings

    Reflect on the project, what were your key takeaways. Did you validate your assumptions, did you meet a hurdle that changed the trajectory of the project?

  • Joshua Taylor

    Figure out what your core message is and who your audience is.

    Why are you writing this case study? To get a new job? To build your social profile? To educate others? If your goal is to get a job, write specifically to hiring managers. If you don't know what they want, find some hiring managers and ask ... more

How can I get involved with the design community at my school?

1 contributor · 2 action items
  • Jordan Singer

    Find a club or an organization in need of design help

    Uncovering the branding and design needs of clubs and organizations on campus is key. Find someone in need, and lead the way for design. That's what I did with a campus organization and a collegiate hackathon, and it paid off major dividends... more

  • Jordan Singer

    Attend meetups and events centered around your interests

    A great way to get involved in the design community at your school is to discover those who are already a part of it. Attending meetups and events at or around school is the pathway to meeting new and like-minded people, and can lead to unco... more

How do I decide if it’s right to drop out of school?

1 contributor · 5 action items
  • Brandon Jacoby

    Would you be financially stable?

    Dropping out of school can certainly affect a lot of areas in your life, a large one being your financial health. Where would it put you in terms of your finances if you were to drop out?

  • Brandon Jacoby

    View your time and effort as an investment

    Which option will provide the larger return? Not just financial return, either. Think about the long term knowledge, connections, and growth opportunities you will be faced with or miss out on by dropping out.

  • Brandon Jacoby

    Where would you grow more in your design abilities?

    Some people really benefit from a classroom environment, others benefit more from real-world application. Figure out what works best for you and factor it in to your decision.

How do I decide on what roles to hire for?

1 contributor · 3 action items
  • Joshua Sortino

    Make a list of each design practice your team is responsible for, and each practice you’d like your team to be responsible for.

    Understanding what you want your team to be accomplishing is the first step in determining what roles you will need to hire for.

  • Joshua Sortino

    Clearly understand the weakest points of your design process.

    Under each design practice falls a set of processes. For instance, UX design requires understanding the problem space, wire framing, and designing.

  • Joshua Sortino

    Identify and hire to stengthen your team’s weaknesses.

    Each designer on your team brings skills to the table. By understanding your weakest points of the design process, you will have a better understanding of your team’s weaknesses. Hiring for the areas you are weakest is often a good strategy ... more

What tools and methods do you use at your company to gauge the relationship between consumer-facing product changes and key metrics?

1 contributor · 2 action items
  • Matthew Ström

    Make hypotheses and keep track of them

    Encourage your team to estimate how your work will affect your KPIs (or OKRs or whatever you choose to call your metrics). Write them down, and check back often.

  • Matthew Ström

    Plan your product changes around metrics

    When you begin working on a new feature, improvement, or even a simple fix, attach an intended outcome to the work you do.

How do you make moodboards and what do you include in them?

1 contributor · 4 action items
  • Briana Hokanson

    Magazines, printouts and foam-core boards.

    Pros: This can be fun and inspiring if you have relevant resources (but do you really want to sacrifice your precious copies of Apartamento to the analog Gods?) Cons: Limitations, glue sticks and storage problems. This can be an emotionally ... more

  • Briana Hokanson

    Pinterest: Easy way to get started collecting images and videos.

    Pros: Easy to collaborate and share pictures/videos. Cons: It is frustrating if you want to organize into subcategories, you can't merge boards, and the tagging/search UX is a mess. Honestly who writes the descriptions for these things?

  • Briana Hokanson

    Artboards in XD, Sketch or Keynote.

    Pros: No fussing with UI, no broken links, no ads, no need for an internet connection. Best for quick and dirty moodboarding, which I honestly find to be useful for capturing the essence of a vision. It's also easy to subdivide different aes... more