Knowing your impact as a designer
Over the last few years, DesignOps has been a hot topic. It’s a way for design teams to improve their efficiency and give themselves guidelines. Design leaders use metrics like OKRs and KPIs to track their impact as a department. They build playbooks, a set of standards that help designers work better together.
But how do you show your impact at an individual level? At school we had grades and attendance, but we don’t track metrics like that at work because there’s more nuance. So how do designers show that they’re being effective?
In my experience, your actions can have impact on four levels; other designers, the people you work with daily, your company, and yourself. You’ll impact each person in different ways, depending on their goals and their relationship to you.
In this article I want to cover some questions to ask yourself, so you can understand how you’re influencing the people you work with.
The designers in a company all lean on each other, even if they’re working on different things. You use the same tools and processes, and you’ll work together to solve complex problems.
Even if you’re not the head of the design team you can influence design culture. You can lead others without needing the word leader in your job title.
Are you helping your design team grow?
You don’t need to have worked as a designer for decades to be a good teacher. If you learn something new and helpful, you can share it.
Here are some thing you can do to be an influence on your design team.
- Share tips and tricks for tools you use daily. Things like Figma shortcuts or plugins can make designers more productive by reducing their manual labour.
- Contribute to the team’s design systems, or share templates you’ve built that have made your work easier. If you’re up to it, you could even build something…