So I’m going to talk about motivations, growth, but more importantly what was holding me back.
I want to give credit to a psychology-centric designer who took the time to help me flesh this out and gave me the building blocks (I didn’t even have to buy me a beer). He pretty much deconstructed me within ten minutes. He told me to add ‘Researcher’ to my LinkedIn profile and I shrugged my shoulders, communicating my discomfort that I didn’t what know the implications of what that would look like.
He told me to cowboy up and accept that fact that I will probably #@^& up ten times. I am too preoccupied with the need to control the perceived outcome.
Light bulb moment!
I need to let go of the need for surety, that was the weight that I was carrying on my back. Not just as a designer, but as a person. I would love to give credit to this person, but he would prefer to maintain anonymity.
As designers I feel like we don’t spend enough time meditating on our motivations.
Some of us want to push pixels. Others are driven to build beautiful things. Some talks on panels at meetups to teach and helps others learn from their success and fuck ups. Others want to use it as an avenue to enhance their profile. Each to their own.
I’ve spent three weeks trying to understand the crux of of my own motivations. My strengths, the areas I want to grow and where I find joy in what I do. That idealism we all started off with.
Something that truly profoundly resonated with me was a tweet from Nick Finck (which I have since appropriated as my own).
For me, design is just the beginning, a means to do better and not just a vehicle for profit. I want to effect people in a positive way. I don’t mean to the scale of joining a NFP.
This can be stripped back to something quite simple: how does my work help make their day easier? Even in the smallest way.
Understanding humans (we like to use the word empathy but I don’t want to get into a conversation about cognitive bias), how we can adapt the work we are shipping with the goals of the business and tie it back to their relationship with our products.
The flip side is growing as a designer, learning new methodologies. What can I learn from them? How can I evolve? I have spent a lot of time speaking to other designers around this How they work and why it works for them. A Medium post from a designer in SF can’t quite achieve that.