This is the second in a series of posts where I cover tips I’ve picked up that have helped me attend, organise and facilitate better meetings. The first post covered attending meetings. This second post will cover organising meetings.
As designers working in a team with others, we know that a fair chunk of our time will be spent with other people – gathering information, generating ideas and debating problems – in forums like meetings, workshops or sprints.
With that in mind, I always think it’s crazy how we spend so much time learning about our design craft, yet when it comes to learning about how to negotiate the often tricky world of meetings, workshops, sprints or even informal catchups with our colleagues, we are often left firmly in the dark, and having to just ‘learn on the job’.
As ‘creatives’, we’re often thought of as messy or disorganised. There is something about the concept of creativity that intuitively feels weird to bind up with order and structure. A cursory google backs up this idea, with plenty of articles intertwining creativity and disorder like strawberries and cream.
Picture the scene. I’m sitting at my kitchen table at home, trying to unenthusiastically spear a piece of chicken with my fork. I’m mid-impassioned rant to my girlfriend, fork now waving wildly in the air;
“And I didn’t even get a thank you!! Not even a tiny, measly thank you, after all the work I put into that. They just don’t care at all. I can’t take this anymore.”
Rewind a few hours. I had worked like crazy all week to deliver designs for an important presentation. I had poured every ounce of effort into making sure we hit the deadline, suffered through numerous changes as strategies leading up to the presentation shifted, and had one unhappy girlfriend who had been forced into living with a extremely grumpy zombie.
The presentation was now over, and though it had gone well, I was left feeling pretty upset. We’d delivered, well against the odds, a really important, time-intensive piece of work, yet nobody at work took the time to thank us for our efforts. In fact, the converse had happened – our manager had gotten all the credit and didn’t bat an eyelid.
The sad thing is, that I bet most of you can relate to this story. Feeling under-appreciated or not recognised for your efforts by your team, manager or wider company is a common theme that I hear again and again, and that I’ve personally experienced in multiple companies.
NB: I was provided with access to this course so that I could review it but I’m under no obligation to say anything nice about it! The below is my honest thoughts.
2018 has now well and truly begun, and like me, you might’ve started to think about your career development goals for the coming year. One of my goals for 2018 was to understand which complementary skills I should learn more about that can enhance my core design toolkit.
CareerFoundry, a leading online course provider for UX, has recently launched a set of courses aimed at upskilling complementary skills for UX designers, rather than focusing specifically on teaching core UX skills. I was very excited about this as it can be really difficult to find learning materials that are written for designers who want to get a working knowledge on a subject but don’t necessarily want to become completely proficient.
Frontend development for designers is one of the first of these courses that CF has launched, for good reason. An understanding and working knowledge of frontend development is incredibly important for a designer to have, but is often only something that we pick up on the job or by reading things specifically targeted towards people learning to become frontend developers.
So after spending a few weeks test-driving the content and exercises, in this post I’ll be reviewing the course so that if you’re looking to upskill your frontend development knowledge in 2018, you’ll know if this course might be helpful for you! Lets dive in.