Product & Design Consultant
Freelance product designer. Prev @lonelyplanet, @airbnb, @medium, and @salesforce. Travels and takes mediocre pictures for fun.
Frame problems succinctly. Minimize the subjectivity of the work as much as possible using research, data, business requirements, etc. Work hard to solve the problems and achieve a high level of quality in everything you do. After delivering on a project, show how the key metrics are tracking positively. Do all this, and then say no to any lower priority projects that extend you past your ability to deliver on the above points. Show what a designer can do and it will eventually become clear what two can do.
Before I design anything in the traditional sense, I always first spend time framing the problem we're solving. Design happens in a Google Doc (or Dropbox Paper if that's your fancy) before it happens on a screen. Designers have the skills necessary to simplify and bring clarity to the problem at hand. Measure twice and cut once. It makes a big difference.... See more
To ensure you're covering your bases, go deep and understand everything you have access to that relates to the problem at hand. If you don't have researchers, data scientists, PMs, then develop your own hypothesis based on direction from the top and examples from competitors or people doing similar things. Prototype ideas and go out and get feedback with people in the target audience. Do whatever you can do to make design feel objective.... See more
Upon this mountain of objective information and focused approach, you can conquer the world! If you've brought your company along this far, and the above is complete and agreed upon... then the hard battle is already won. Designing on the screen becomes a joy once everyone is signed up for the mission and things are moving ahead. Go the distance and make not only the designs great, but also the packaging for when you share it with others. Communicate with excellence.... See more
After you deliver something - a homepage, a new on-boarding flow, a new mobile app – keep an eye on the metrics. When you see an uptick in any metric that was in the key performance indicators outlined in step one, raise the trumpet and declare the design a success (maybe not right away, but when it looks statistically significant).... See more
If you do the above, you're doing more than many designers in the industry. Give the company a taste of what design is supposed to look like, then do the really hard thing and say no to things that pull you away from your ability to provide meaningful work. This will feel awkward, but if you allow your company to stretch you too far beyond your limits, you won't do good work, they'll not understand the value of design, and they won't feel the need to hire more.... See more