After almost 15 years of working in Silicon Valley as a designer in a variety of fixed, dedicated roles internally at large corps and start-ups (with some agency & freelancing, as well), I am now taking a slightly different tack to â€œdelivering design valueâ€ to the industry and field at-large. How so?
My focus is now a self-directed â€œvirtuous cycleâ€ of consulting, speaking, and teaching, pursuing those opportunities Iâ€™m most passionate about as I consider the shifting of my own career, towards greater autonomy, flexibility, and â€”hopefullyâ€”opportunity for impact thatâ€™s way more rewarding than, frankly, battling novice PMs over inconsequential, short-sighted JIRA tickets or panicky feature timelines. I mean, who has time for that?? ;-)Â
And yet, those difficult, burdensome questions I articulated in my previous post, coming out of my sabbatical journeys and discussions, still remain ever more present in my mindâ€¦They just wonâ€™t go away any time soon, for me or for my peers who are just as perplexed by those issues!
Regardless, I intend to stay true to the values & principles I re-discovered amid my journey:
â€¢ Pursue design strategically as a committed, equal partner with non-design executives
â€¢ Re-assert the intellectual primacy of design discourse in the workplaceÂ
â€¢ Drive vivd provocations for new models of business & experienceâ€”yes, risky & scary!Â
â€¢ Guide and educate peers about design process/strategy/culture with a sense of depth and ambition
Beyond that, how am I keeping myself busy these days with this new blend and focus? A variety of things.
â€¢ Helping co-organize Enterprise UX 2016 (San Antonio, TX) and supporting the website/marketing of IxDAâ€™s Education Summit 2016 (Helsinki)â€”working with truly fantastic folks on both events! Itâ€™s always an honor and privilege to help stage the forums where inspiring and influential conversations about design can happen.
â€¢ Substitute teaching at CCA for undergrad IxD students, on a couple topics: Prototyping and Data Visualization
â€¢ Preparing various design talks, including the UX Strategies Summit in early November in SF (redux of my â€œdesigning with execsâ€ talk from IxDA 2014) and Design Salon at Citrix
â€¢ UX Mentoring via Everwise with design professionals and other professionals seeking UX adviceÂ
â€¢ Drafting proposals for design thinking & innovation workshops for various IT firms/clients
â€¢ Writing for ACM Interactions and essays on Medium
â€¢ Training up on prototyping and pixel tools like Pixate, Macaw, Sketch, etc. (hey, gotta keep those skills sharp!)
Whew! Lots going on, as I emerge somewhat rebooted from my much needed sabbaticalâ€¦The best is yet to come, as they say ;-) Stay tuned.