This article is for all of us that don’t work at Google, Zalando Tech Hub, IDEO or any other such famous design teams in the world. This is to all of us that work in companies that nobody knows about, because our work matters too!
It’s 9 o’clock Monday Morning. And at Infinitec Solutions, a small venture part of the Finleap portfolio, it’s the start of just another working day. Or so it seems! I am here at 9:15 and notice the entire product team is stuffed in the meeting room talking. I feel a bit lost, the office is empty I am at my desk while everyone is in there. I can’t help but wonder if I am supposed to be in this meeting too, and somebody forgot to invite me or that it’s not my cup of tea! I notice one of my design colleagues made it through and I message her in Slack! She fills me in on the topic of discussion and everything in my mind starts to clutter together as if in a crowded room. I feel like I am going to explode! ‘This is how important the design team is!’, I say ironically to myself as I pace back and forth waiting for the meeting to end.
2 hours later I receive my own private update about what happened in there, mainly because I specifically made a request to know what is going on. Everything falls into place. There is a new strategy, and we need to work on it. It’s in the concept phase, and through some miracle everyone agrees that we need to do a Crazy 8’s session. I am stunned! Is this really happening? It seems that it is.
My colleague and I, both designers, planned the structure of the workshop write everyone an email about what’s going to happen, explain what a Crazy 8’s session is, who needs to be invited, and sit down to define the problem that we are trying to solve! I am so happy I want to jump out of my skin. Bellow is the note we wrote to our colleagues.
Finally the day comes and the session starts, everything goes as planned. Everyone is collaborating, everyone has interesting ideas, and everyone is all in. We managed to do the workshop in 2 hours + 30 extra min and at the end to my surprise, everyone found that this session was actually useful. We all leave the room happy that we contributed to solving a problem in such a short amount of time and that we covered so many aspects to this problem, allowing for everyone to be heard.
I know that not everyone still understands the importance, the purpose or the need for such sessions but I feel that something has changed in their minds and that makes me a bit more hopeful, that my work here is not useless.
Later on, we, the design team, sat down and looked over the entire spectrum of ideas, analysed, grouped and structured everything, ending this exercise with a high-level partner experience flow that we were very proud of. I would love to share it with you but because of very heavy NDA I cannot disclose more information about this sadly. You will just have to take my word for it!
This is reality
In the real world, designers like myself don’t have access to users when ever we please, don’t work for bosses that believe in design thinking or in companies that want to create something that is actually needed for the user. In the real world, most of us work for business oriented companies that treat design as an accessory, something that is needed because otherwise their goal couldn’t be achieved.
Don’t take me wrong, I don’t blame them, I have been part of this world for 2 years now and even though I have days when I just want to quit, and never come back, I don’t because this is reality. This is what really happens when you don’t work in a castle at the top of the design “food chain”.
I don’t quit, and neither should you
We struggle every day to push design and make product understand that we need to be a part of it. We fight to make the MD understand that the design is “ugly” because this is the best we could do with the resources that we have. Improving through trial and error, we learn, we grow, we teach and we innovate everyday. And the most important thing, we also matter, even if nobody knows about us or nobody cares about our work, we matter to ourselves, to our teams and to the entire design world.
We fail more often then the others do, but we learn more by failing each and every day, we matter because we wake up and go back to the office and try to push our concepts to people that haven’t ever heard about them nor believe in them and with every day that we succeed we make the world a bit better. Because as design historian Victor Margolin said:
‘The purpose of design is the creation of good society. ’’
Thus dear Product Designer of the real world, you matter and so does your work, because they both contribute to create a good society.
This product article was originally published on blog.protoypr.io. Click here to read the original version.