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Art Wars: Design as a force for good

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How to land a design job, get promoted, and be successful as a freelancer, at a creative agency, or as an in-house designer. Lots of copyrighted Star Wars material... Presented at Cal Poly, San Luis Obispo, 1/26/16.

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Art Wars: Design as a force for good

  1. 1. Design as a Force for Good in any Organization
  2. 2. I. How to land a job II. How to level up III. When to to jump ship IV. Freelance Bounty Hunting V. Design Agency Jedi VI. Going In-house with the Evil Empire
  3. 3. Let’s get started
  4. 4. Tailoring your application
  5. 5. One page each (seriously) Customized for the company/position Online portfolio & work samples Action and outcome oriented statements Have a friend proofread!
  6. 6. Nailing the interview(s)
  7. 7. Show up early Dress like you want the job Assume they want to hire you Show energy, passion and interest Sell, but don’t bullshit
  8. 8. Jedi Mind Trick:
  9. 9. Mirror body language Ask thoughtful questions Illustrate a process on the whiteboard
  10. 10. Your first job might suck
  11. 11. Here’s how to Level Up
  12. 12. First Order of business: Master your current role. Realistically: 1-2 years
  13. 13. Promotions aren’t automatic
  14. 14. You’ll be promoted when you: Have a record of success Bring new ideas to the team Improve the process, not just the work Could get hired in that role elsewhere
  15. 15. Specific Measurable Attainable Relevant Time-Bound
  16. 16. Jedi Mind Trick:
  17. 17. Ask for advice, don’t wait for permission Solicit feedback early & often Don’t undersell your accomplishments
  18. 18. Your first review always goes well. Why? Expect 3-5% raises annually Title change ~ 10-15% raise To make more, you might have to quit Consider total cost of living if you move
  19. 19. When to jump ship
  20. 20. No hope for new ideas. Constantly doing the same thing, but harder.
  21. 21. Unpredictable job requirements and frequent process changes.
  22. 22. Management seems unstable
  23. 23. Design is an afterthought
  24. 24. Everything is on fire
  25. 25. “He wanted you to have it...”*
  26. 26. You are an experience designer
  27. 27. Branding Industrial Design Packaging & Display Print & Advertising Web, App & Interactive Design
  28. 28. Win-win problem solving
  29. 29. User Goals Business GoalsXD
  30. 30. “This party’s over!” - Mace Windu
  31. 31. Designers have many tools.
  32. 32. But the process is what gets results.
  33. 33. Engage Understand your users and their goals.
  34. 34. Engage Connect Show how your solution is a good fit.
  35. 35. Engage Connect Convert Eliminate friction and close the deal.
  36. 36. Engage Connect Convert Inspire Turn customers into friends with benefits.
  37. 37. Engage Connect Convert Inspire Experience design builds relationships.
  38. 38. Freelance Bounty Hunting
  39. 39. Sell the opportunity to work with YOU Develop a broad set of skills Keep what you earn (but pay your taxes) Work on your schedule *No disintegrations
  40. 40. There are some downsides
  41. 41. Half your time is spent on “admin” work Clients don’t know what they want Their nephew will do it cheaper You become support for everything Health insurance is expensive...
  42. 42. Proposal templates for common jobs Document deliverables and timelines Bid at least $50/hr to cover overhead Discount your rate, not your time Your #1 job is getting paid
  43. 43. Jedi Mind Trick:
  44. 44. “I believe in what you’re doing, and want to be a part of it.” “I understand your customers because I am one.” “I think there’s an untapped market here.”
  45. 45. Design Agency Jedi
  46. 46. High-concept vision and creativity
  47. 47. Fast-paced and competitive
  48. 48. Clients want special and unique
  49. 49. Tell a story - Make it personal Create a “composite character” (or several) Give them hopes, dreams, fears… What keeps them up at night? How does your solution meet their needs?
  50. 50. Jedi Mind Tricks:
  51. 51. Keep an organized archive of inspiration Conduct hallway usability testing Design for “less than ideal” content Don’t get cocky – expect many revisions
  52. 52. In-house doesn’t have to suck
  53. 53. You have to learn some new tricks
  54. 54. Employees are often more concerned with not screwing up than trying new things.
  55. 55. Management understands this, but is all to often a part of the problem.
  56. 56. What’s a HIPPO?
  57. 57. Highest-Paid Person's Opinion
  58. 58. Change? Prepare for a battle.
  59. 59. Identify current User Experience problems Conduct formal user tests Review user flows for friction Develop prototype solutions Conduct A/B testing (limit risk)
  60. 60. Are we serving the needs of mobile users? Do we compare well with our competitors? Can we engage users with new features?
  61. 61. Link small projects as a part of a “program” Share what you’ve learned Always have a next step in mind Don’t waste momentum Update stakeholders & share credit
  62. 62. They see me rollin’
  63. 63. Millennials face serious challenges with student loans, housing costs, job market… But there’s good companies out there and good people who want to hire you.
  64. 64. Bring a positive attitude, a sense of ownership, and your creativity And we’ll rule the galaxy ...or at least build something cool.
  65. 65. Thank You! Steve Noone stevenoone@gmail.com linkedin.com/in/stevenoone

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