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Design Leadership Blog

Vicente Latag

If you are an aspiring design leader, so am I. Come and take this journey with me.

Good work vs Great work

I’ve been thinking of ways how can I make a difference and do something I know that matters to people. I worked as Freelance UX Designer for a few years and did several projects for clients from different parts of the world. I target to finish projects as soon as possible, get paid and work with the next client. Doing that, I thought I’m already doing something great but I just realized that I was just chasing money for my survival. I knew that my design services is good enough for my clients but I feel that I am missing something. I feel that I am not part of something important, I feel that no one will notice even if I stopped freelancing and I feel that I’m not creating a dent in the universe. 

This is what I learned, good is the enemy of great. I was settled doing good on designing for ventures of other people but not great on pursuing my mission of using design as a solution for real-world problems. I knew I need to do something. 

Right now, I am in a perfect situation where I can expand my knowledge while working with people who are way ahead of my skills. So while I’m in the process of improving myself, I decided to build the Design Process Community. I want other people to grow as I grow. I can’t solve real-world problems through design alone, so I am taking other people with me to become better designers.

Stop Planning, Start Doing

When I was just starting as a UX Designer, I often want to have everything planned out on every project so that I know everything I need before I even start the project. I was like a fortune-teller, trying to tell people that I will do A to Z without knowing the things that might happen along the way.

But, how would I ever know? How can I give better estimates to the people I’m working with? I don’t have any idea so I just kept on doing that, hoping that everything will work out just fine. Until I learned about agile, which means being able to move quickly. There are different ways to apply agile to everything that you do and one of them is Scrum. It is an agile process framework specifically designed for software development projects. So you start with the end goal or the vision of the project, then you split it up into small project increments called sprints. It helps you to create something viable in just a few weeks, present it to stakeholders or customers and get feedback for iterations. So you are now shaping the end vision of the whole project based on feedback from people who will actually use it. Anyway, I think that’s enough for the agile thing, you can read more about it at Scrum.org.

So, what I mean with stopping the plan, is actually to stop the guesswork or the long term plans. It is also something that pushes me to procrastinate because of being overwhelmed with how big the project is. If you will just start doing small increments of your goals, whether it is for a company, a project, financial plans, family plans or any other life goals, I encourage you to do one small thing at a time. Instead of doing a twelve-week project, you can do twelve one-week projects. Stop planning and start doing the work.

Design Leadership Journey

One of the responsibilities of designing UX at Voltex Electrical Accessories is to bring out valuable information from your cross-functional team because they are more knowledgeable about their specializations such as sales, marketing, customer service and other parts of the business. And, leadership is a core skill that a designer must have to make the team comfortable in collaborating and sharing their ideas.

I believe that “The best way to learn is to teach”. So I created the Design Process Community, which aims to help designers like me become leaders. I know that my leadership skill is still in development so what I am doing now is to get in touch with design leaders and influencers, get their thoughts and share it through the Leaders Book of the community. And now, I am also starting this blog page of the Design process Community to post anything about my thoughts and experiences during my design leadership journey. Allow me to share my updates with you because I can see this as an opportunity for me to be more committed and responsible for my growth. I am just like you, a designer who wants to create a positive impact on the organizations we belong to. So come and take this journey with me, let us learn and share how to become a leader.