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Advice from a young designer to younger designers

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You have just set foot at your first design job. There, you begin realizing that designing on the job requires a lot more skills than just in typography and HTML/CSS. How do you effectively communicate your work to non-design colleagues? What steps must you take to grow internally? Most of all, how do you even get noticed in your company? After three and a half years of working at TED as my first job out of college, I’m here to share with you hard-learned career lessons that we all wish someone would have told us earlier. This talk will hopefully prevent you from flailing around aimlessly for too long like I once did as a young designer.

Speaker: Lil Chen
Conference: Beyond Tellerrand 2016
Video: https://vimeo.com/165950912

Published in: Design
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Advice from a young designer to younger designers

  1. 1. @_LILCHEN Advice from a young designer to younger designers BEYOND TELLERRAND LILIAN CHEN
  2. 2. @_LILCHEN A bit about me Formerly at TED Talks for 3.5 years First design job at 21 years old Currently 26 years old Interaction Designer at YouTube
  3. 3. @_LILCHEN Disclaimer The concepts I discuss are higher level. Mold them into what is applicable to your job. Make what you will of it.
  4. 4. @_LILCHEN Learn how to talk about design to non-designers. 1
  5. 5. @_LILCHEN It is not only a designer’s job to create good design, it’s also our responsibility to try and ensure that good design gets implemented.
  6. 6. @_LILCHEN Talk to your friends.
  7. 7. @_LILCHEN A W E S O M E R E S T A U R A N T M E N U Chicken Caesar Salad . . . . . . . . . $14.30 (Lettuce, tomato, grilled chicken, croutons, parmesan, topped with caesar dressing) Vegetarian Burger . . . . . . . . . $23.30 (Tofu based patty, lettuce, tomato, blue cheese, other things that are not meat)
  8. 8. @_LILCHEN Hold yourself accountable for ensuring that your skill set is known to others. 2
  9. 9. @_LILCHEN Nobody is going to know every quirk about you at the start of a new job. It’s your job to inform them.
  10. 10. @_LILCHEN Find ways to show your skills Seek opportunities Help others out Be proactive in creating opportunities Kickstart your own side projects
  11. 11. @_LILCHEN
  12. 12. @_LILCHEN
  13. 13. @_LILCHEN Avoid being soft-spoken when you start your job. 3
  14. 14. @_LILCHEN If you fail to speak up, people will do the only logical thing remaining and assume that you don’t have any opinions to contribute.
  15. 15. @_LILCHEN Find the sweet spot.
  16. 16. @_LILCHEN Define the future of your role through your actions. 4
  17. 17. @_LILCHEN Every design job listing ever Must have strong design sense Good eye for detail, typography, layouts Able to take project from beginning to end Collaborate with neighboring teams Communicate ideas well
  18. 18. @_LILCHEN Communicate Short/long term personal goals Career goals + growth path Weekly check-ins Align with manager
  19. 19. @_LILCHEN Speak your needs otherwise you will not be heard.
  20. 20. @_LILCHEN Celebrate and highlight your design process. 5
  21. 21. @_LILCHEN Explaining your thinking process to others cultivates trust and understanding for your methodologies.
  22. 22. @_LILCHEN
  23. 23. @_LILCHEN
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  25. 25. @_LILCHEN
  26. 26. @_LILCHEN
  27. 27. @_LILCHEN Kill the idea of pixel- perfection when exploring. 6
  28. 28. @_LILCHEN Five roughly designed, unique directions is better than one perfectly designed idea.
  29. 29. @_LILCHEN
  30. 30. @_LILCHEN Do your part in understanding your colleagues’ processes. 7
  31. 31. @_LILCHEN Align your workflow with those of your coworkers’.
  32. 32. @_LILCHEN Advocate for your designs. 8
  33. 33. @_LILCHEN Getting people invested in your work promotes collaboration.
  34. 34. @_LILCHENINSTAGRAM: @HOLIDAYHAUS
  35. 35. @_LILCHEN Spice your design life up with personal projects! 9
  36. 36. @_LILCHEN With personal projects, you are your own boss. You have total creative control.
  37. 37. @_LILCHEN
  38. 38. @_LILCHEN
  39. 39. @_LILCHEN Be receptive of feedback, but also stand your ground. 10
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  41. 41. @_LILCHEN So in conclusion…
  42. 42. @_LILCHEN Learn how to talk about design to non-designers.1 Hold yourself accountable for ensuring that your skill set is known to others. Avoid being soft-spoken when you start your job. Define the future of your role through your actions. Celebrate and highlight your design process. Kill the idea of pixel-perfection when exploring. Do your part in understanding your colleagues’ processes. Advocate for your designs. Spice your design life up with personal projects! 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 Be receptive of feedback, but also stand your ground.10
  43. 43. @_LILCHEN Just kidding. Don’t do that.
  44. 44. @_LILCHEN Produce good work. + Use your voice.
  45. 45. Thanks for listening. :) @_lilchen lilchen.com TWITTER WEBSITE

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