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What kind of goals do you set to become a better designer?

over 3 years ago from , Designer/Front-End Developer

A lot of my career has been improvement through just doing my job. While it HAS made me a better designer, sometimes improvement feels accidental rather than intentional.

I'm trying to be more intentional this year and set realistic goals.

Can anyone share any specific examples of goals they have set for themselves? Were they helpful? Hard? Realistic/unrealistic? How would you have changed things?

Some topics I'm considering:

  • Finding opportunities and formats for collaboration, brainstorming, etc.
  • Developing a habit of analyzing other designs in the wild, what worked well, what didn't, pulling learnings from them
  • More experimentation and side projects
  • Improving public speaking and presentation format

Any help or tips on areas to investigate or prioritize would be really helpful!

3 comments

  • Renee PRenee P, 3 years ago

    Setting goals is always something I've hated, but I suppose I'm most likely to identify my weak areas - the things that I can see are holding me back - and aim to strengthen those, which usually means doing things that are hard or uncomfortable lol.

    Examples would be like, working closer/communicating better with my colleagues, being more confident to speak out with my opinions, or just little design things like trying to use colour more or being more versatile in my aesthetic.

    Most of these still I'm still working on. One thing I learnt long ago was to not even bother setting timeframes for goals. Everyone's different, but I don't think they're useful for me personally – in fact, I find they usually make the task more stressful and more likely to be abandoned.

    If one thing is certain, it's that learning and growing is an endless road!

    2 points
    • Nathan LongNathan Long, 3 years ago

      Thanks for sharing! Maybe it boils down to what motivates you more?

      Personally, open ended goals stress me out more than specific ones. And it sounds like it's the reverse for you.

      But then again, I've made goals in the past that turned into slogs and a joyless grind and I didn't see them through to the end.

      Somewhere there's got to be a sweet spot, right?

      0 points
  • Mitch Malone, 3 years ago

    One of my goals for 2017 is to elevate the design competence of my team (7 engineers, 1 PM, 1 Product marketer). I want to do this because I think it's a good indicator of design leadership. To do this, I'm going to be putting them in front of customers using our products, having them conduct user testing sessions, getting them facilitating sketching and ideation sessions, etc. So far, it's going well. I'm measuring leading indicators (e.g., # of user tests/team member).

    My only advice is to talk to someone you trust who can help you develop your goals—maybe the person you report to or a colleague. Figure out what you'd like to get better at, how you will improve, and a way to measure it.

    0 points