This is an ongoing effort so dig in and get ready to prove design's worth at every opportunity you get. Unfortunately, "make things look pretty" is a phrase that minimizes the real strategy that goes into design. Great, inclusive design makes companies more money so find out where you can affect the bottom line and make a difference. At the end of the day, that's why you are there. To help the company be more successful. Embrace that side of the job to elevate perceptions of design's scope of problem solving.
Team up with your company's sales team and do some real design work. Sales and marketing need design translated to fit their goals. People's actual jobs depend on it. Think about sales and marketing as the lifelines of the company. Helping them solve challenges via design principles extends the longevity of the company.... See more
Make the company's business objectives, your objectives. The next time your company says it needs to increase advertising, dig in and do some research on how you can help. DO NOT complain about the business objectives. Research why your company is going in a certain direction and apply design principles where you can.... See more
Bring junior level designers to strategy meetings. This makes a huge impact on leadership around the company as it shows them you value the goals of the company so much that you ensure your design team understands them as well. Bonus: younger designers will grow twice as fast if they can insert business objectives into their work... See more
Stop talking about design and just make it. Repeat: Stop talking about the solution, start designing it. Use tools like Invision, Framer or Principle and show exactly what you mean by creating interactive prototypes to share. High fidelity mockups are the key to winning over leadership. Create examples so real, they want them as the solution.... See more
Create opportunities to share what you think are solid solutions. Is there an internal sales or strategy meeting? Has there been an CEO AMA that can be solved via design? Use these key moments to jump in and place a well-thought-out design solution. It may not be selected, but it shows the value of design in the conversation.... See more
The key is to flip your priorities to focus on your kids, friends and/or family. Trying to find balance is easier when you put them first. Similar to planning out your work day, family time needs to be factored in, scheduled and stuck to. It is a challenge that takes a lot of effort, but one that can be mastered with time.
I use Google Cal for all of my appointments. 'Go to Gym with Family' is an appointment every morning. It is a subtle reminder for me that I can do something for myself and still spend time with my family. Using those key words help reinforce the why behind taking the time.... See more
Giving yourself time in the mornings for yourself, friends or family makes a huge difference over time.
You are in control of your schedule so give yourself a convenient time to break away from the computer everyday.
Spa day, massage or catch a movie. Personal time helps you recharge so that you don't feel like you are always on the run for others.
With growth, you will need to develop design systems that inform style guides, creative briefs, a clear vision and a design QA cadence with the entire team. The key is to get everyone on the team fluently speaking the same visual language. These conversations will help you define what quality means for your team and how to replicate in as many expressions as possible.
This document is important for repeating successful design over time. A good creative brief consists of the project, objective, target audience, visual spectrum, messaging and stakeholders.
This is where many ideas come together and inform a singular path forward.
Set up a design-qa room in Slack and encourage your team to flag inconsistencies in the design work. It's a neutral space where the team can work out the visual language together.
Clean, repeatable design systems that are easy for internal and external teams to use are crucial to consistent design over time.
Prescriptive guidelines with details to ensure design quality doesn't break down.