Re: Professional development; employer expectations (was RE: book recommendation for everyone)

15 Jun 2005 - 11:47pm
9 years ago
1 reply
515 reads
livlab
2003

> I'd be curious how others feel about this relationship between
> employer and designer. I would imagine this would be really
> different at the consultancies than at the product development shops.

Recently I've become responsible for a team of designers who had had no
leadership for a period of almost six months. My first questions to them
was what their current problems were and where they wanted to be. It was
interesting how the issues of creativity and engagement were the first
ones to appear. The work environment didn't fit their needs, the
education opportunities were very limited and the overall direction of
their work was very unclear.

I recognize all these issues, but I think the designers who are only
involved with the design work and don't have to manage people - as it
should be since they are not managers - often miss the big picture of
the organization. The same way the business needs to understand design
needs, designers needs to understand about the business. That's where
the manager figure needs to come in.

It definitely is up to the employer to elicit the career goals and help
designers plan for the future, but it also means these employers need to
understand what is unique about designers that doesn't apply to other
groups, where creativity and engagement might not play such a vital role.

Personally, I feel that allowing people a way to voice their concerns
and ensuring an open channel for communication is half the battle won.
The other half is advocating those needs across the organization and
accommodating to designer's needs. But always educating designers about
the business and the other groups and THEIR unique needs. No group is
more important than the other.

Except information architects. No, just kidding ;-)

Comments

21 Jun 2005 - 10:12am
Austin Govella
2004

On 6/15/05, Livia Labate <liv at livlab.com> wrote:
> The other half is advocating those needs across the organization and
> accommodating to designer's needs. But always educating designers about
> the business and the other groups and THEIR unique needs. No group is
> more important than the other.

Livia:

How have you addressed development and keeping them creatively
engaged? Here we have a travel budget for conferences, and I've carved
out something analagous to Google's 20% time so I can read (I read a
lot) and try new things.

I'm trying to imagine how these would translate into a more corporate
environment (I'm at a University).

Also, what unique needs are you finding most need to be explained to
designers in your group?

--
Austin Govella
Thinking & Making: IA, UX, and IxD
http://thinkingandmaking.com
austin.govella at gmail.com

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