Re: I'm not happy

6 years ago from , front end developer

Following the post from @Korhan Eser I came to realise that a lot of follow colleagues feel the same way he feels. I know that most of people who have a job kind of goes trough the same, but in our area it feels like too much.

We are almost always the "guys who make things pretty", but that have no kind of importance to a company. The low-level guys. Something I stoped doing a while ago and don't understand why people still do it: Why we have to come up to 2, 3 or more solutions? Isn't the client contracting us for our expertise? Aren't we professional enough to understand what the client wants and do it? How come we have to do 3 times the work and get paid for 1? And we all know that in reality we only present 1 solution. The other two are the horrible ones we made to be rejected. But then they get approved and we have to make something we hate. This as been said a lot of times, but if I go to a place to cut my hair, if it sucks I still pay and never come back. He doesn't make 3 iterations on my hair - probably bad example, but you know what I'm coming to.

Long story short, we have something that others desire so much and is so rare. It's called community. We probably have the largest community in the world ( after all, our jobs are internet dependent). Lets use it to boost our confidence, our self esteem and get a revolution on design. And for someone that as a little time for a side project ( @Korhan Eser, I'm looking at you :D ), why we have so many websites TO the community but not FOR the community? Where we help each other with life/work stories where we can relate and how we surpassed them?


  • Hash MilhanHash Milhan, almost 6 years ago

    in terms of boosting confidence, let me post this again, which i posted on the last thread too.

    this is for you, for us, and above all to remind myself too :)


    11 points
    • Ricardo Nunes, almost 6 years ago

      I still wasn't able to have the time to see it, but is on my list since yesterday when you posted it. Will go to it as soon as I can :) thank you

      0 points
      • Matt DominguezMatt Dominguez, almost 6 years ago (edited almost 6 years ago )

        It's less than 3 minutes and well worth your time. Find the 2:18 to watch it :)

        Edit: you watched it!

        1 point
    • Sam GoldSam Gold, almost 6 years ago

      Really love this. I watched it yesterday and again today when you posted it. A great reminder. Have a great day!

      0 points
    • Tom DurkinTom Durkin, almost 6 years ago

      Thanks! I enjoyed that. I run through those emotions a lot. Glad I haven't given up.

      0 points
    • Ricardo Nunes, almost 6 years ago

      I finally had the time to see the video.

      Found out I already had seen it. Matter of fact, this video was what I really needed 5-6 months ago. Was feeling really bad about myself, disbelieving my work and this gave me the strength to understand that I wasn't that bad. People on top of me were making me feel and telling me I was crap.

      So I quit my job, moved countries and started a new life.

      That video and the video from Mike Monteiro really gave me the push I needed to my life and my career.

      Am I happy with where I am now? Well, I'm happier than what I was. Still feeling unappreciated. But at least now I believe in myself and I know where the problem is.

      0 points
    • Account deleted almost 6 years ago

      Yeah this. Actually worth to watch it for once everyday.

      by the way, that frame with 'taste' is awesome

      0 points
  • Nelson Abalos JrNelson Abalos Jr, almost 6 years ago (edited almost 6 years ago )

    After 11 years of being a professional web designer, I learned that everyone is searching for happiness. If we don't find it in our jobs, its because of the two major pillars to a day job.

    You have the people you work with and the work you do.

    If either one sucks, then "you're gonna have a bad time. " (- South Park) It's very hard to find a place where you work 8+ hours a day at and still be happy when you get home. But, I assure you, those jobs are out there.

    If you don't like your current job, work hard when you get home to find a better one. Go take up side jobs where you control everything. Give back to the community and speak at meetups. Teach someone web design. Do fun things that'll let you be creative.

    Learning and challenging yourself is where true happiness comes from. The awesome thing about Web Design is that all you need is a sketch book, computer and an internet connection to lets your creative mind fly.

    Remember when we were kids and every time we learned something new, our eyes lit up and we wanted to use that new knowledge and play with it?

    Do that.

    Find new things and play. =)

    9 points
  • Michel BioMichel Bio, almost 6 years ago

    That's what I thought after seeing all the reactions. +1 for this. Where do we start? Heh.

    7 points
  • Tor Løvskogen BollingmoTor Løvskogen Bollingmo, almost 6 years ago

    To play devils advocate: what if we put ourselves in this position because we are lazy, not thinking about the goals of our designs, not good enough to present our designs? I don't think we need a Designer's Anonymous – but rather focus harder on the non-visual parts of our design work.

    3 points
    • Paula BorowskaPaula Borowska, almost 6 years ago

      I like your point very much. I'd love to do that actually. But it's so hard to, you know. That's why we have such problems because unfortunately people/clients associate design with visuals.

      I do think you're right, this problem should be addressed with the clients. We shouldn't allow them to dictate the process especial because we are the professionals after all.

      1 point
  • Carlos MCarlos M, almost 6 years ago (edited almost 6 years ago )

    I see what you mean. There are some tips and advice from experienced designers on this website, particularly one from Shaun Inman:


    2 points
  • Nate LegaspiNate Legaspi, almost 6 years ago

    I think the one we can solve is "don't present something that you are not happy about" most of the time this is what gets approve.

    I used to get stuck with that "why do I have to present 2-3 more if I can solve it with just one?" but the truth is there is different ways to solve a problem presented by client. We have to keep pushing the best work out there, the work that will make us happy. I know that our job is most of the time "thankless" or "just make this pretty" kind of thing. But we have to keep pushing good work, because it also reflects us.

    If we keep pushing just one best thing and the other are crap then we are basically fooling ourselves. Our solution is always to cut the crap that we don't one our client to approve so we don't need to keep doing crap work.

    I know its a lot, but at the end of the day you have to keep asking yourself if you are happy showing your work regardless if they will like it or not.

    Also if your company doesn't believe in your work, then work for a company that believes in doing great work rather than just "get it out there and get paid kind of job".

    2 points
    • Ricardo Nunes, almost 6 years ago (edited almost 6 years ago )

      I do believe that. What I wrote is just the common practice. I only present one solution to the client, but this solution already had a lot of iterations from my part.

      And when presented to the client, there is always margin for minor changes.

      Also, even when you give your best on every single solution, you know that there is always that one that you just love and, for your understanding, is the perfect one for the job. And that one gets put on the side because it's not "funky" enough.

      Also, the biggest question here is a place where we can all discuss and learn with this process and others, not the process itself. That was just an example and the "call-to-action" on the biggest issue.

      1 point
      • Nate LegaspiNate Legaspi, almost 6 years ago

        Sorry for missing the point.

        That is why it is so hard for young people to get into their dream job sometime and keep their passion since they are expected to work as "experts" in the field.

        I believe that senior people need to mentor first, training and honing new people's skill set and work process. I remember my CD a few years back, he used to be an ECD and he told me that no one told him and trained him what an ECD supposed to do. Its not something that you can learn from school. You just have to jump in and assume the role and people expect you to know what to do. So he decided that he wasn't ready for it, so he want back to being a CD. It was really a sad story, getting your dream job and not knowing what to do since his previous bosses only taught him how to do his job well but didn't prepared him for what's next.

        Sometimes its also hard to expect it from your senior people, to sit back and teach you how things work but I do believe that it is part of their job, to pass on their knowledge.

        I do want to have a place where people can discuss their learnings, their victories and mistakes. Learning other people's process so we can learn from it. We spent years and years of experience to slowly tweak our workflow and process. We tweak it slowly until we get into the right process but its a never ending cycle.

        If everyone can spend a few minutes of their time to discuss and share their experiences from their busy lives to help other people in the community, it will benefit everyone especially future generation.

        2 points
        • Ricardo NunesRicardo Nunes, almost 6 years ago

          On spot! :) I would love to have a place where each day would be a post from someone different like Mike Montero or Paul or you or me helping the younger ones and the old ones. Maybe even have a conference in a year or so where instead of talking only about "design", people would talk about their experiences and help each other. That's one conference I would attend. (Am I starting something great? )

          1 point
          • Nate LegaspiNate Legaspi, almost 6 years ago

            That's one of the things I hate about attending design conferences. Most of the time its just massaging the egos of whoever is talking on stage. I really hate it when it became just a show and tell of their work without even showing us the objective, inspiration and the craft that went with it. There are few designers out there who are really out there to inspire young creatives and reveal there workflow and processes.

            2 points
  • Account deleted almost 6 years ago (edited almost 6 years ago )

    Thanks for writing a reply Ricardo. It really means a lot to me. For a long time I notice that I was having this burnout and you all noticed me whining is not the answer nor it won't solve anything.

    The low-level guys. Something I stoped doing a while ago and don't understand why people still do it.

    For pay checks man. That's why I'm being a low-lvl guy. And I'm aware of that I'm more sophisticated and smart from the 'sales' team at the office (I'm not being narcissist. This is a fact) Like everyone who are on DN. If I've had a heritage etc. I'd never ever design for money nor sell it. Anyway, to pay my bills I have to do what I'm best at and that's judged as a low-lvl job. I think it's very pathetic that people who put stickers on us that says 'photoshop guy' or 'coder who uses the keyboard fast'

    get a revolution on design

    I'd love to see and participate on that.

    And for someone that as a little time for a side project

    Little time? You've just took the word from my tongue. I don't know how I'm going to manage it but I guess it's going to take up a little (or very much) from me. I guess I'm going to say good bye to weekends and social life for a period of time

    ( @Korhan Eser, I'm looking at you :D )

    Huh, what me? hehe :) This weekend I'm going to have a meeting with me And I'm going to write an open journal through the process. If I could create something useful, let that be an guide to upcoming designers. Because where I live it's going to be tough as hell. If I fail, that'll be an nice example too I guess

    1 point
    • Ricardo Nunes, almost 6 years ago

      Glad to be, somehow, helping you :)

      During the time of posting this and seeing all the feedback, I re watched a video that will definitely help you out.

      First the video will "destroy" you. The old you. The "you" you are fed up of. Then it will build you up and get you ready for the world you deserve.


      For what I understand, you don't have much free time, but try to watch it or at least listen to it. It's worth the almost 50 minutes.

      Now, to give you a better understanding of where I've been trough:

      Almost 10 years ago I had my first job as a Designer. I did websites for clients, from the ground up, front end and back end, made designs for magazines Ads, UI for software the company I was at made.. I was doing everything design related in the company. But somehow, everything I did was never enough. The long days from 9 to 3 am wasn't enough. I was on a mental breakdown and still it wasn't enough.

      Then I got invited to Forrst and when posting my work, I was hearing "that is cool!" instead of "you suck. Do more." And that got me fuelled up. So I decided to quit. I was so "bad" that the company asked me to stay 2 months more because they couldn't find anyone that could do what I was doing. 6 months later, I was still receiving calls to help the new guy and to do jobs as freelancer for them.

      I was without a job for at least 3 to 4 months, but then I finally managed to get one. A better one. With an amazing team and a line manager who was absolutely awesome - He called us the Dream Team. I grew, I learned, I became a better person.

      Then the company decided that we were having "too much fun" and divided to conquer. So people started quitting and from that Dream Team, only my line manager and a few others where left, spread out through the companies different departments. I got separated from that awesome mentor and started working with an art director that had all the bad influences that I hated. He built his career believing that long hours and having no opinion is the right way to do stuff, because there is no other way and that the Big Man was on his right to step on him and do as he pleased.

      Little time after that, he started telling me that I was really good at coding, but my visual design wasn't good - Side note, I wasn't doing any visual design - and that I needed to up my level on visual design or the company would hire somebody else. And I heard that almost every single day. And that I had to give more to the company - I was doing a 9-18 schedule and not a single minute more. I've learnt that I didn't have to comply with management errors.

      After a while, he came up to me and said that I was going to be switched to a new department to do "support" and nothing design related, because "I wasn't good enough at visual design" and I panicked. I went on another mental breakdown.

      Then I decided to go to my mentor and an ex-college of mine saying that "I'm not a good visual designer, what do I do?" And the most helpful words came from them like a truck: "Of course you're not. And you don't have to be. You are a coder. A Front-end developer and a fucking good one".

      So I got my inspiration back and the next day I said to my Art Director "I won't change departments. I was hired as a Designer and will stay as a Designer. If you don't like it, you can fire me." And they did nothing. Because I was good and they needed me.

      I started looking for a new place to work outside my country - unfortunately there was no way I would get paid more in my country (Side note: Every time I got a new job, my pay check doubled), so I moved to England and started from 0.

      Long story short: The community, the people around you and YOU are the most helpful help you can get. Almost everyone is going trough or went through what you are feeling right now. And there is no better help than someone who went trough it and survived. Hang on an carry on :) We are here for you

      0 points
  • Nick NobleNick Noble, almost 6 years ago

    Sounds like we need a union haha

    1 point
    • Ricardo NunesRicardo Nunes, almost 6 years ago

      We should have. Not one like the "suits" have, but definitely designers need a union. Or at least some base rules witch we had to obey. "Thou shalt not give a bad name to the Designer class"; "Thou shalt not conform to the idea implemented in your head that you suck". I would like that. After all, we have a lot of responsibilities with the world (sorry, was watching Mike again on lunch time) and few of these are accounted.

      1 point
  • Liang ShiLiang Shi, 6 years ago

    I recently read Ayn Rand's The Fountainhead and discovered a concept (cause they don't teach you this in school or internships) called creative integrity. In short, it's putting out work that you're proud of, and only work that you're proud of, at the risk of losing clients or not having any clients at all.

    It's something I'm striving towards but find difficult as a freelancer (since you're hired to fill a certain people pleasing role or risk being fired without a second thought).

    In the short-term, I've really honed in on the clients that allow me this freedom and trust me to do good work. And for the clients who want to see multiple options (and eventually, I no longer have good options left to show), I phase them out.

    I also outline my process in the very beginning. As a UX/UI designer, I present one wireframe of the UX and we iterate, and then three "moodboards" for design aesthetic (color scheme, fonts, examples of combinations). This has helped me go down a more precise path that's closer to how I'd like to operate, and also gets them excited by options without going too far down a path.

    Anyone else have ideas about this?

    1 point
  • Micah SivitzMicah Sivitz, almost 6 years ago

    The bottom line is that you have to sell your work to the client, otherwise they won't "trust" your expertise. If you can't convince them that the one you designed is the best solution to their problem, then they'll want to see more versions and ask for more changes. It just comes down to the pitch at the end of the day.

    1 point
  • Miguel MendesMiguel Mendes, almost 6 years ago

    +1 feeling the same here.

    1 point
  • Ricardo Nunes, almost 6 years ago

    Errr... sorry for the typos. Felling a little ashamed. should have proof read that.

    1 point
  • Matt Pinheiro, almost 6 years ago

    +1 here mate.

    Why don't we have more projects everyone can contribute independent of where we live? Let's f*ing do something!

    0 points
  • Prabhu SPrabhu S, almost 6 years ago

    I'd like to ask would it be sane to get our clients to pay for each iteration/concept they make us do? Because for me it seems like they always think coming up designs is easy.

    0 points
    • Ricardo Nunes, almost 6 years ago

      In this case it's like that anecdote of the guy that changes 1 crew for 1000$ or something.

      1$ for the screw, 999$ for knowing witch one to screw.

      I don't think you should make them pay for each iteration "individually", but your final price must clearly state and take into account the amount of work you did. After all, you did spent time doing them.

      3 points
  • Sebastian SellingSebastian Selling, almost 6 years ago

    Love this idea! Been wanting a medium to discuss/talk with fellow designers for such a long time! :) Sign me up, where do we start?

    0 points
  • Artur ZebrowskiArtur Zebrowski, almost 6 years ago

    We have super powers which are talent and creative style of life not lifestyle :) And "they" just jealous so they want to crush you and makes you feel bad.

    0 points
    • Luke JonesLuke Jones, almost 6 years ago (edited almost 6 years ago )

      Putting designers on a pedestal like that is not a good attitude. We are not special, and these people are not jealous.

      Remain grounded, be humble, and do good work. That’s the attitude to have, not ‘I am special’.

      You know who is special? The retired 70 year old doctor I met last night who has lived in Kenya for 10 years treating patients for free. He’s a hero.

      Sorry for the rant, I am sick to DEATH of people who think we / themselves are special and deserve some kind of recognition for being designers. Fuck that, seriously.

      11 points
      • Bowe FrankemaBowe Frankema, almost 6 years ago

        Could not agree more. Just because you're earning a living in the creative industry does not make you anymore special than someone who's flipping burgers at Micky D's. It's shocking how many people act and feel entitled above others purely based on their position. People who share things like this on Twitter and Facebook: http://justsomething.co/22-things-creative-people-do-differently-than-the-rest/.

        Stop it.

        3 points
      • Artur ZebrowskiArtur Zebrowski, almost 6 years ago (edited almost 6 years ago )

        HI :) I got this :) My father was that kind of doctor. But this is not matter of bad attitude and putting "us" on top of the food chain. I had a good teachers and thank god for them in my life :) And don't get me wrong but designers are heroes too and they changing the world around you every day. They creating stuff to make peoples life better. Designers making change happen. If not designers, many doctors would not have tools to make their job good. we are just in a shadow ….

        this will help to understand what i had in mind :) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Z4PwHD7XKj0http://vimeo.com/68470326

        … also i don't think we are better we have big responsibility. People just treating us like we are doing nothing special :) and believe me we do special. If not, what is the purpose of creating? and it is not about fame and popularity …. Sorry if i make you feel that way that you need it to use word FUCK :) … and as we all know pepole with super powers not looking for fame and popularity they fighting for good side every day. Staying far from camera flash ….

        0 points
      • Ricardo Nunes, almost 6 years ago

        We should be proud of what we do. It doesn't mean that we are better or on a "pedestal" like some untouchable gods. Who in the right mind would do that?

        Now, we do provide a lot to the world. And are inheritable responsible for it ( see Mike Montero @ How Designers Destroyed the World - http://vimeo.com/68470326 )

        Taking your example of the Doctor to the extreme, the designer that did not spoke and made a girl suicide on facebook because of poor design and resigned to the shadow could had been a hero. Instead he stayed as the "I'm only the designer" kind of attitude.

        Don't get me wrong, every single professional is a hero in its way. And he should be. Every single one of us should feel special, like a hero.

        But not a douchbag. That is a different story. A hero is no douchbag.

        I do believe @artur was only referring to "them" as "the douchbags". Not "every single person that is below us because we are designers and we are the ultimate gods!"

        0 points
      • Spencer WiltonSpencer Wilton, almost 6 years ago

        That's one way of understanding his comment, however if you swap "Special" with "Privileged" I think he's bang on. Designers are privileged to have the (fairly unique) skills and education they have, and it allows them to pursue the lifestyle they want. With that privilege comes the responsibility to exercise your skills in a way that you as a designer have to live with.

        We're not on a pedestal, but we do have unique responsibilities. Is that better?

        1 point
  • Vincent MillikenVincent Milliken, almost 6 years ago

    +1 on this.

    0 points