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392: Becoming a Strategic Designer

April 7, 2021

This week, we talk about how to become a more strategic designer: what should you be doing day to day, or thinking about more often? In The Sidebar, we talk about the downsides of using metaphors to describe the role of designers in building software.

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Thank you to Around, a better way to video call. The product is designed specifically to make it easier to gather small groups to collaborate in real time, without all the distracting and frustrating interfaces that comes with most video chat software. We love the small floating heads and emphasis on making it easy to work alongside the video call, rather than constantly having to app switch.

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Main Topic:

Jessica Tong asks on GitHub:

I work at a small startup with less than 15 people and I'm the only designer. Recently, I've had a performance review and my manager, who is the Head of Product has recognised that I am lacking in "strategy skills". I seem to mostly come up with short term ideas. eg. we have a problem regarding X, so i am able to come up with multiple solutions, etc. I've also been to a job interview where they said I was lacking high level, strategy skills. I am unsure as to how to develop this skill and think of my work more in the long term and plan for the long term. My manager has suggested a book called "Good Strategy/Bad Strategy" by Richard Rumelt but other than that, he does not know how to help - probably because he is from a product management background, and I should be developing a UX strategy skills. Do you have any advice, or resources you can point me to where I can grow in this area as a product designer?

Cool Things:

  • Brian shared Readng, a beautiful app for tracking what you read, and following other people’s book recommendations. It’s like Letterboxd, but for books! And it’s beautifully designed, and a joy to use.
  • Marshall shared Quadeca – From Me To You, a music video. Quadeca also comes from the YouTube world, alongside his own music productions, so dive into the backlog of videos.

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