Designers are expected to do more than just pixel pushing these days — and for good reason. As design becomes a more strategic pillar in businesses, we find ourselves needing to speak up about the value we bring. What are some ways we can make that easier? By telling a good story around the work that we do and the decisions we make.
Context is key
Great design is not magic. There’s a lot that’s behind the design process — how you arrived at a decision can be just as important as the component or element itself. Senior UX Manager Yesenia Perez-Cruz shares how Shopify is bringing more context into the Polaris Design System through a framework they’re calling Experience Foundations. By surfacing these different customer experiences in the design system, their team can make better decisions and move the product forward, faster. Where are there areas in your design process you can surface helpful information like this?
Telling a great story
Storytelling is an essential part of the design process. To communicate the value of design, you need to be able to explain how you arrived at a final product. Ethan Eismann, VP of Design at Slack, shared his thoughts about how the best storytellers can make an impact — they adapt to their audience. How can you tell a more compelling story about your work to stakeholders?
As we all continue to work remotely, designers have gotten creative when it comes to team building activities. Senior Brand Designer Johnnie Gomez shared that the Webflow design team connected with the Loom team for a social gathering over Zoom. Similarly, Design System Lead Josh Mateo reported that the Netflix design systems team held a virtual meet up with the Pinterest team to discuss resources and educational opportunities. Not only is this a great way to lift spirits and engage in some much needed social time, but it’s also important to note that when we share what we’ve learned with others, we can elevate the design industry as a whole. If you’re trying to think of a fun activity to do with your design team before the holidays, this could be great inspiration.
Are you planning any fun end of year activities for your design team? We’d love to hear about them — share with us at @goabstract.
Your product design tech stack
Recently, we asked on Twitter and LinkedIn about your current product design tech stack. We have gotten lots of great responses, but if you haven’t replied yet, we’d love to hear about the tools you use to build, design, and ship products.